Series rookie Alvaro Bautista and the Ducati Panigale V4 R continue to dominate the 2019 World Superbike Championship.Just as he did in the opening Australian SBK round, Bautista claimed both race wins this past weekend at Buriram circuit in Thailand. The Spaniard, who arrives in WorldSBK after spending nine years in the premier class of MotoGP, earned both victories by large margins over four-time reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10RR Ninja).
Bautista beat Rea to the finish line by 8.217 seconds in race 1, and 10.053 seconds in race 2. Claiming third in both races was Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes.Bautista began the race from pole position after winning his first Superpole race on Saturday, and fouth with Rea for most of race one.When race one began, Bautista went wide at turn one and was passed by Rea, who took the lead of the race. After contact with the northern Irish rider on lap 3, which almost caused him to crash, Bautista had to make up the lost time and positions, but he managed to overtake his rival on lap 9, crossing the finishing line with a lead of eight seconds on the second placed man.On Sunday Bautista was once again dominate, winning the Superpole Race, which was shorted by four laps due to a crash at turn 3. Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Racing) and Thitipong Warokorn (Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team) collided at turn three, causing the red flag. The Thai rider Warokorn was transported to a local hospital for further assessment.During race two, the 34-year-old Bautista immediately put a gap on the field and claimed the 20-lap race win by over 10 seconds.Between Phillip Island and Buriram, Bautista has a perfect record of four race wins and two Superpole Race wins.“Three wins, three fastest laps and Superpole means that it has been a perfect weekend for me,” Alvaro Bautista says. “We knew that it was going to be an important race because Kawasaki has won here so many times, but the whole team worked well with the bike over the weekend and it all came good.“It wasn’t easy however because the Panigale V4 R is new everywhere we go and everything has to be discovered from scratch. Right from the beginning I had great confidence with the bike and only made small adjustments for the set-up we know. I just want to say thanks to my team and all the people in Ducati because they have done a fantastic job, I’m so happy! Now we have some time to rest before we go to my home race. I’m really looking forward to that and can’t wait to race at Aragón in front of my Spanish fans.”After two of 13 rounds, Bautista has a perfect 124 points – 26 ahead of Rea. The 2019 World Superbike Championship now breaks for three weeks ahead of round three at MotorLand Aragón Circuit in Spain April 5-7.