Spanish superstar Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) has won the first ever sprint race in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, winning today’s 10-lapper at the Yamaha Finance round at Phillip Island ahead of Kawasaki pair Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam.
Just a day after becoming the first rider to win his maiden WorldSBK race, Bautista was again at the peak of his powers on the all-new Ducati Panigale V4 R, although world champion Rea didn’t let him have it all his own way.
Rea led over the line on the opening two laps and then edged his ZX-10RR in front a few more times before Bautista eventually control – but that didn’t stop the Northern Irishman setting a new lap record of 1min30.075secs on lap eight at an average speed of 177.65km/h.
That obliterated the previous record of 1:30.848, set by Marco Melandri in 2018. In fact, the existing lap record was broken 17 times in race two: Bautista and Rea both six times, and Haslam five times.
Bautista won by 1.176 seconds over Rea, with Haslam another four seconds arrears in third.
“I enjoyed today’s race more than yesterday because I had a good battle with Johnny. I expected a strong fight, and the pace was very strong because we didn’t need to worry about tyre consumption.”
Alex Lowes then led a freight train of Yamahas across the finish line, as he finished fourth ahead of Michael van der Mark, Melandri and rookie Sandro Cortese.
Ducati trio Michael Rinaldi, Eugene Laverty and world No. 2 Chaz Davies completed the top 10, while Aussie Troy Herfoss (Honda) was 16th.
Meanwhile, there was a three-way crash at turn four on the last lap between Kawasaki men Jordi Torres, Leandro Mercado and Toprak Razgatlioglu, with Torres the only one able to remount and finish 17th.
The third and final WorldSBK race, in the traditional 22-lap format, will be held at 3:00pm.
WorldSBK Sprint Results
1. Alvaro Bautista (Ducati)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) +1.176
3. Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) +5.072
4. Alex Lowes (Yamaha) +6.713
5. Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) +6.800
6. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) +7.904
7. Sandro Cortese (Yamaha) +8.224
8. Michael Rinaldi (Ducati) +10.944
9. Eugene Laverty (Ducati) +12.416
10. Chaz Davies (Ducati) +14.068
Australian Wild Card 16. Troy Herfoss (Honda) +48.731
See you Trackside at the Island for a Triple-Treat
General Admission tickets and camping passes are now available at the gate. Gates open from 8am each day.
World superbikes is FREE* for kids 15 and under, and so is your bike.
As an extra bonus at WorldSBK, all three-day ticket holders are gifted FREE paddock access.
For more information go to www.worldsbk.com.au or call the toll free WorldSBK Hotline 1300 728 007
*Children 15 and under are free and must be accompanied by a paying adult.