Aruba Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista completed his maiden WorldSBK win hat-trick today at Phillip Island, adding the second-race win to the Superpole victory he took earlier today.
In the same vein as yesterday, Bautista disappeared as soon as the lights went out, opening up an 18s lead over the chasing Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam who were left to fight it out for the podium positions.
More in a minute
Bautista and Rea battled for the win in the all-new Tissot Superpole race, held over just ten laps of the 4.445km Phillip Island track.
Bautista finally took a clear win by 1.176 seconds, but Rea was in pugilistic mood, pushing his way past at times and faster than the so-far omnipotent new Ducati and new WorldSBK leader in at least some places on a ten lap set-up at least.
Haslam recovered from a race one crash to take a podium that kind of wasn’t, as the new race-cum-qualifying does not count for statistics, but does award point for the top nine riders – from 12 points to one.
The new race also gives these top nine riders their final grid positions for race three, based on their Superpole race finishing positions. Hence, Bautista scored 12 championship points and takes pole position for the third and final race. Rea takes nine points for second, and second place on the second ‘big’ race grid.
Behind the podium/no-podium trio, Pata Yamaha team-mates Alex Lowes and Michael van der mark finished within 0.087 seconds of each other, fourth and fifth respectively. The second tranche of Yamaha team-mates, GRT duo Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese were sixth and seventh. On a good day for the new Ducati even the privateers were involved in the exciting new race format, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati) eighth and Eugene Laverty (Team GoEleven Ducati) ninth.
The still struggling Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) completed the top ten.
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was moving forward when he dropped back after running wide, finishing 12th. Wildcard Aussie Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda) was 16th of the 17 finishers.