Álvaro Bautista couldn’t have got off to a better start in World Superbike this weekend at Phillip Island, as the 34-year-old Spanish rider dominated the opening round of the championship held at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia.
After his triumph in race 1, Bautista went on to take two more wins, the first in the ten-lap Superpole Race, in which he held off Rea, and the second in race 2, when he crossed the finish line with a lead of 12 seconds, again over Rea.
With these results, Bautista has immediately taken the lead of the championship standings, with 62 points, a lead of 13 over his rival from Northern Ireland.
Team-mate Chaz Davies showed some signs of improvement in race 2. In the morning his technicians made some major modifications to the set-up of his Panigale V4 R in an attempt to give the Welshman an easier bike to ride. Davies managed to take the chequered flag in seventh place.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #19) – 1st
“It has been a perfect weekend and my Superbike debut couldn’t have been better! We made a clean sweep of everything by winning race 1, the Superpole race and race 2. If people had said to me before that I would have won three races, I wouldn’t have believed them, but we worked hard during the tests to prepare a fantastic bike. In this morning’s Superpole race I had a lot of fun fighting with Rea, I knew that he was very strong and that he was always pushing. The pace was incredible and I had to concentrate so hard, but in the end I got the better of him. In race 2 the track conditions were more difficult than in the morning, and it was important to save the tyres because of the higher track temperature, so I pushed hard in the early laps to try and manage the situation at the end. I’m so happy with the results, today is a day I will never forget! A big thanks to the Aruba team, to Ducati and to my crew for making this all possible! Now we have to continue to work hard, we’re only at the beginning and I think it’s going to be a very top-level championship.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #7) – 7th
“We managed to make some progress in race 2 and I felt a bit better with the V4 R, which is the most important thing. After yesterday’s result, we had nothing to lose so the guys in the team made some major changes that allowed me to slightly improve my race pace. I’m still a bit disappointed because we didn’t expect this result, but we picked up a lot of useful data to understand what I need for the next race. My congratulations to Álvaro, because he was really impressive all throughout the weekend.”
Stefano Cecconi, CEO Aruba and Team Principal
“It was virtually a perfect weekend for Álvaro, he dominated almost every session and showed he had the margin to manage every situation. We have got off to the best possible start, but we must remain with our feet firmly on the ground and continue to work hard to achieve the maximum results possible on the other tracks with both of our riders.”
Monday, 25 February 2019 14:36 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Making his debut in the Superbike World Championship for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team, Álvaro Bautista today achieved a truly extraordinary feat by winning the opening round of the 2019 season with the new Ducati Panigale V4 R. The last time a rookie rider won on his debut was in 2007 and what makes the 34-year-old Spanish rider's win even more remarkable is the fact that it was also the very first race for the bike. Starting from third on the grid after the Superpole, Bautista took control of the race on the opening lap, increased his lead every time around and took the chequered flag almost 15 seconds ahead of Jonathan Rea.
Team-mate Chaz Davies was in a bit of difficulty during the 22-lap race, the Welshman never being able to attack, also due to excessive rear tyre wear, which especially in the final stages forced him to slow his pace and he eventually finished in tenth place.
Tomorrow will see the other two SBK races on the schedule for this first round of the championship; the ten-lap Superpole Race at 12:00 (02:00 CET) and Race 2 at 15:00 (05:00 CET).
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 1st
“This victory has given me such incredible satisfaction and I’m really happy to have won my first World Superbike race! For sure we worked well throughout the winter months and this allowed us to prepare a competitive bike for the first round. Today I wasn’t able to set the pole because I still have to understand how the qualifying tyres work, as they are completely new for me. In the race however I was really confident because I knew I had an excellent pace, and my strategy was to take the lead as soon as possible and then keep a consistent pace. I could see that the gap was increasing lap after lap, even though I was trying to manage the tyre wear, especially towards the end of the race. I’m really happy and I’d like to thank Ducati, Aruba and the guys in my team, now we’ll see if we can keep this up.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 10th
“For me it was rather a disappointing race. Initially I was quite happy and after a good start I more or less maintained the pace with a decent group. Then I suddenly had such a massive drop of rear grip, so much so that I felt like I was riding in sand: we’ll have to look at the data to figure out why it was like that. I know how to manage a race at Phillip Island and I felt like I was relatively conservative for most of the race, but I hit trouble at two-thirds race distance and wasn’t expecting it. It shows we are inexperienced with this new bike; I had a pace that I thought could see us into the top 6 but that wasn’t the case today.”
Marco Zambenedetti (Ducati Corse Track Technical Coordinator)
“Today for sure we did a great job! We are seeing the results of everything we’ve done in the last few years and the fact that we believed in a new project that represents a historic turning-point for Ducati. We knew we could be competitive and we knew we had the technology and the working method to succeed. Álvaro has given us such enormous satisfaction by taking the V4 R to victory, and even though he is a very experienced rider, he is still a rookie in this category. Tomorrow we’ll try and also get Chaz into a condition where he can express his true potential, because we’re convinced that he can. We’ve still got a lot of work to do because despite this first win we’re only just at the beginning.”
Saturday, 23 February 2019 09:52 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took the 2018 WorldSBK crown in style at the Acerbis French Round, slicing past teammate Tom Sykes in the early stages of Race One and imperious from there on in to take victory number 13 of the year. Unlucky for some, but far from it for the now four-time Champion. Sykes took second from his record-breaking pole, with Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) completing the podium after a three-way fight for third.
It was Sykes who got the holeshot from pole, getting a lightning start and leaving teammate Rea to trail him in second – albeit in very close company. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) kept his P3 from the front row as they shot off the line, with Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) slotting into fourth as the field made their way around Lap 1. But Rea remained threatening in second and feinted a number of moves, before the reigning Champion pounced for the lead not long after.
Just off that fight at the front, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) took an early tumble, followed not long after by a DNF for Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) in that same mid top ten group. Rea was then pulling away from Sykes and Sykes from those on the chase as Fores hustled past Savadori and took over in third, but the Italian stayed close and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was beginning to hone in on that battle.
Rea crossed the line for win number 13 and his fourth crown in style, with Sykes just behind his teammate in another impressive 1-2 for Kawasaki. Fores was able to fight off Savadori, and both just stayed ahead of Davies by the flag. Davies needed to finish second to stop Rea taking the crown, but after a mid top ten qualifying and still recovering from a broken collarbone, it was a tall order. The Welshman nevertheless put together an impressive ride in difficult circumstances – much like his races in Portugal. His teammate Marco Melandri , after a tough qualifying, moved through from p12 on the grid to take sixth.
Seventh went to Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) as he moved up from tenth on the grid, getting past Toprak Razgatliouglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) at mid-distance and steadily pulling away from the Turk, who came home in P8. Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW) had been fighting him in the latter stages but couldn’t make it stick, and just at the end was pipped to ninth by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia).
Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) took P11, ahead of Jordi Torres in P12 for MV Agusta Reparto Corse.
Four titles in a row, 13 race wins this season and two rounds still to go make for another amazing season for Jonathan Rea. See him race as the 2018 champion for the first time on Sunday in Race Two from Magny-Cours, with everything LIVE on WorldSBK VideoPass from 15:15 (GMT +2).
Saturday, 29 September 2018 19:16 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Championship leader leaves Portugal with sixth consecutive win, his best streak in his WorldSBK career.
Sunday, 16 September 2018 15:54 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) took his first-ever MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship race win at the Acerbis Czech Round, in an astonishing Race 2 which saw championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crash out early on. The thousands of Czech fans present at the Automotodrom Brno witnessed a wild, unpredictable affair, ending in a Yamaha one-two and a sixth race winner in 2018.
Sunday, 10 June 2018 19:11 Published in Reports, Results & Points
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped back on the podium in Race 1 at Brno (Czech Republic), home of Round 7 of the WorldSBK Championship, thanks to Marco Melandri's second-place finish.
Saturday, 09 June 2018 18:17 Published in Rider and Team Releases
In an unpredictable second race in the Motul Thai Round, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) surged through the field to take a 28th career victory and a first around the Chang International Circuit, becoming a third different winner in the opening two weekends of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship.
Sunday, 25 March 2018 13:46 Published in Reports, Results & Points
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUS (February 25, 2018)- After the announcement on Saturday that Race 2 of #AusWorldSBK would be a flag to flag with a maximum of 12 laps allowed on one set of tyres, the scene was set for a showdown with a difference and Sunday didn’t disappoint.
Sunday, 25 February 2018 12:11 Published in Reports, Results & Points
PHILLIP ISLAN, AUS (February 24, 2018)- Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) put in a stunning ride at Phillip Island to win the opening race of 2018, stalking his way through the podium places before being able to catch and pass earlier race leader and polesitter Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Sunday, 25 February 2018 12:05 Published in Reports, Results & Points