Bautista takes dominant WorldSBK victory at Phillip Island
Alvaro Bautista dominated the opening race of the 2019 Superbike World Championship to win at Phillip Island.
The Spaniard romped to victory on debut in the class, becoming the first rider to do so in more than a decade.
Heading the 22-lap race race from start to finish, the factory Ducati rider took the flag by nearly 15 seconds over pole sitter Jonathan Rea with Marco Melandri third.
The battle for second position was intense and included Rea and his Kawasaki team-mate Leon Haslam, as well as Toprak Razgatlioglu, Alex Lowes, and Tom Sykes.
After Haslam crashed out of second position at turn four on lap 13 the pack began to splinter with Rea and Lowes going it alone while Razgatlioglu and Sykes were in close company.
Rea eventually found some space to lock in second place, while 2018 double winner Melandri was coming through the pack after being as far back as eighth in the early stages.
Melandri eventually pipped Lowes for third, while Michael van der Mark finished fifth ahead of Razgatlioglu, Sykes, Sandro Cortese, Michael Rinaldi, and Chaz Davies.
Haslam picked up his scarred ZX-10RR to finish in 15th position, while Australia’s Troy Herfoss and Leon Camier retired with mechanical problems.
A 10-lap sprint race makes up Race 2 and will be held at midday on Sunday, followed by the traditional 22-lap format for Race 3 at 1500.
Results: Race 1, Australian Round
|1||Alvaro Bautista||Ducati Panigale V4 R||22||33:38.901|
|2||Jonathan Rea||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||22||+14.983s|
|3||Marco Melandri||Yamaha YZF R1||22||+16.934s|
|4||Alex Lowes||Yamaha YZF R1||22||+16.984s|
|5||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha YZF R1||22||+19.179s|
|6||Toprak Razgatlioglu||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||22||+21.203s|
|7||Tom Sykes||BMW S1000 RR||22||+21.488s|
|8||Sandro Cortese||Yamaha YZF R1||22||+23.018s|
|9||Michael Rinaldi||Ducati Panigale V4 R||22||+25.580s|
|10||Chaz Davies||Ducati Panigale V4 R||22||+27.124s|
|11||Jordi Torres||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||22||+28.214s|
|12||Eugene Laverty||Ducati Panigale V4 R||22||+30.055s|
|13||Markus Reiterberger||BMW S1000 RR||22||+31.859s|
|14||Leandro Mercado||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||22||+34.793s|
|15||Leon Haslam||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||22||+41.009s|
|16||Ryuichi Kiyonari||Honda CBR1000RR||22||+45.523s|
|17||Alessandro Delbianco||Honda CBR1000RR||21||+1 Lap|
|DNF||Troy Herfoss||Honda CBR1000RR||16|
|DNF||Leon Camier||Honda CBR1000RR||8|