2019 Australia World SBK Race 1 Results
The season-opening race of the 2019 World Superbike season at Phillip Island was a historic one for Alvaro Bautista and the Ducati Panigale V4 R.
Both the Spaniard and the Ducati V4 R claimed wins in their first-ever WorldSBK race Saturday in Australia.
Bautista, who spent nine years competing in the premier MotoGP class before joining World Superbike, became the first rookie to win a WorldSBK race since Max Biaggi back in 2007.
And the 34-year old did it with complete dominance. Starting from third on the grid behind Kawasaki Racing Team’s Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea – the pole sitter – Bautista took over the lead at turn 3. From there he was untouchable.
When the 22-lap race was complete, Bautista claimed the win by 14.983 seconds ahead of the four-time reigning World Superbike Champion Rea.
Claiming the final podium was GRT Yamaha WorldSBK’s Marco Melandri, who finished 16.934 seconds behind Bautista.
With his win, Bautista breaks various other records, including:
- First Spanish Rookie to set the fastest lap at Phillip Island on a Ducati since Ruben Xaus in 2001
- First Spanish rider to win a WorldSBK race since Jordi Torres in 2015 at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
“This victory has given me such incredible satisfaction and I’m really happy to have won my first World Superbike race,” Alvaro Bautista says. “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 tires 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 thetiree 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.”
Claiming fourth – just 0.05 of a second behind Melandri – was Pata Yamaha WorldSBK’s Alex Lowes.
The other factory Yamaha rider Michael van der Mark claimed fifth ahead of Turkish Puccettti Racing Kawasaki’s Toprak Razgatlioglu and BMW Motorrad WorldSBK’s Tom Sykes.
Rounding out the top 10 were GRT Yamaha’s Sandro Cortese, Barni Racing Team Ducati’s Michael Rinaldi and Bautista’s teamamte Chaz Davies.
The 19-rider grid returns to Phillip Island circuit Sunday for another 10-lap Superpole race ahead of race 2.
2019 Phillip Island World Superbike Race 1 Results
|5||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||NLD||00’19.179|
|9||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||ITA||00’25.580|
|11||Jordi Torres||MV Agusta||ESP||00’28.214|