Scorching hot temperatures on track for the Superpole of 60 degrees Celsius. And it was the factory Yamahas of team mates, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team), and Andrea Locatelli who claimed a 1, 2. Toprak claimed top spot with an unbeaten time of 1:32.037, and rounding out the front row was Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) in 3rd.
It was still blazing hot for the start of race 1, and the infamous Lombok thunderstorms, were yet to make an appearance to the relief of the grid. Most of the riders went for a harder rear tyre, the SC0, while the Ducatis gambled on the softer SCX, would the gamble pay off? Unfortunately both Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), and Granado (Petronas MIE Racing Honda Team) were declared unfit to start due to illness.
Lights out then for race 1, and it was Toprak with the hole shot into turn 1. Drama on the first corner for Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati), who over cooked it and ran into the rear of Bassani (Motocorsa Racing Ducati), sending Rinaldi down and out of the race.
Next lap and positions were as follows: 1. Toprak 2. Bautista 3. Bassani 4. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Ducati) 5. Locatelli 6. Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 7. Vierge (Honda HRC) 8. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 9. Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 10. Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW).
With 19 of 21 laps remaining it was Locatelli with the fastest lap of 1:33.7.
With 17 laps to go, and after a poor start Rea was steadily making progress in 6th, and then cut under Petrucci to take 5th. Meanwhile further ahead, Bautista had enough of sitting behind Toprak and cut up the inside of the former champion into turn 15, to take the lead for the first time. It was a Ducati 1, 2 followed by the Yamaha team mates of Toprak and Locatelli, and then the Kawasaki team mates of Rea and Lowes.
With 15 laps remaining Bautista was slowly extending his lead with the gap at 0.6s. Meanwhile further back Vd Mark (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was up to 9th, ahead of team mate Redding 10th, and Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) was 11th.
Next lap and it was Bautista with the new fastest lap, a 1:33.1. Would Toprak, who was unbeaten here last year, be able to respond?
With 13 of 21 laps remaining, Bautista again put in another fastest lap of a 1:32.975. Meanwhile further back, Baz got though on Redding to move into 10th. The Kawasaki’s were not having a good start to the weekend, and both were now losing contact with the 4 riders ahead.
Next lap and it was the 6 times world champion who was holding his team mate up, Lowes eventually had enough and got past Rea to move into 5th. Meanwhile at the front Bautista held a gap of 0.8s.
With 11 laps to go, Locatelli who was having a great start to his season, got through on fellow Italian Bassani into turn 10, to move up into 3rd. Meanwhile Rea was still dropping like a stone, and had former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci all over the back of him now.
Just over half race distance, and Bautista was managing the softer rear tyre to perfection and had now pulled the gap out to 1.1s. Disaster again for poor Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who has to retire once again due to a mechanical issue. Meanwhile Lowes was having a second wind, and cut up the inside of Bassani into turn twelve to take 4th briefly, before the fiery Italian snapped back to retake the position. A bad day for Scott Redding who comes into pit lane visible seething, smashing his screen off, before storming back into the BMW garage, having to retire due to a mechanical issue.
With 8 laps to go, Bautista was showing no signs of grip loss, and put in another fastest lap of a 1:32.803. Meanwhile Petrucci used all of his racing experience and got through on Rea to move into 6th. A struggling Rea had to continue to defend as he had Xavi Vierge all over him now.
With 6 laps to go Vierge finally made his move on Rea getting by to move into 7th. The six times world champion was now in 8th, and it wasn’t going well. Petrucci continued to make up places, and then went through on Lowes to move back into 5th. Excellent ride for the former MotoGP rider considering he’d never been to this track before. The defending continued for Rea, and next up it was Vd Mark eyeing up a sorry looking Kawasaki. Meanwhile at the front, Toprak held a gap of 1 second to his team mate behind in 3rd.
With 4 laps left, Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was finding great late race pace, and was now up to 10th, and gaining on the riders ahead of him. The Dutchman Vd Mark eventually got past Rea to move into 8th, and now the Swiss rider Aegerter was all over the back of Rea. A terrible day for both Kawasaki’s as Vierge also went through on Lowes to move into 6th.
With only 3 laps to go positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Toprak 3. Locatelli 4. Bassani 5. Petrucci 6. Vierge 7. Lowes 8. Vd Mark 9. Rea 10. Aegerter.
Next lap and Vd Mark was having a great ride, and moved first past Lowes and then past Vierge and up into 6th.
Last lap and Domi Aegerter in a fantastic move, took both Kawasaki’s into turn two to move into 8th. Safe to say a disaster for factory Kawasaki with Rea in 9th and Lowes in 10th. However the same could not be said for Alvaro Bautista, who came across the line to take the win, unbeaten so far this season with 4 out of 4 wins. Toprak 2nd, Locatelli 3rd, Bassani 4th, Petrucci 5th, Vd Mark 6th, Vierge 7th, Aegerter 8th, Rea 9th, Lowes 10th.
Result top 5:
- Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
- Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team)
- Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team)
- Bassani (Motocorsa Racing Ducati)
- Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Ducati)
Championship top 3:
- Bautista – 87 pts
- Locatelli – 50
- Razgatlioglu – 43