Bautista dominates to win on World Superbike debut

Alvaro Bautista produces a flawless performance to win on his World Superbike debut with the new Ducati V4 R
Bautista dominates to win on World Superbike debut

Full WorldSBK race one results from Phillip Island

Alvaro Bautista put in a flawless performance to win on his World Superbike debut on the new Racing Ducati V4 R, taking victory by almost 15 seconds from reigning champion Jonathan Rea.

The former MotoGP star bolted into the lead on the opening lap passing Rea and simply stretched out a gap at will over the first half of the race.

With a comfortable time cushion above 15 seconds the Spanish rider eased off to take victory and become the first rider to win on his World Superbike debut since Max Biaggi achieved the feat in 2007.

Rea saw off a spirited early fight from new Kawasaki team-mate Leon Haslam, who crashed on Lap 13, to then ease clear of the rest of the field for a comfortable second place.

With tyre life coming into play towards the end of the race, Marco Melandri and Alex Lowes had a fierce final lap fight for the final podium spot with the GRT Yamaha rider rewarding his team with third place on its World Superbike debut thanks to a final-corner lunge on the British rider.



With Lowes fourth, his Pata Yamaha team-mate Michael van der Mark secured fifth place three seconds back but ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Kawasaki) and Tom Sykes (BMW) who both faded late on.

Sandro Cortese grabbed eighth place on his World Superbike debut with GRT Yamaha finishing in front of Michael Ruben Rinaldi on the Barni Ducati with Chaz Davies rounding out the top ten on the factory Ducati having started from the sixth row.

Jordi Torres secured a solid 11th place on the Pedercini Kawasaki ahead of Eugene Laverty on the Go Eleven Ducati, BMW’s Markus Reiterberger and Orelac VerdNatura Kawasaki’s Leandro Mercado.

At the midway stage Haslam saw his podium charge ended prematurely when he tucked the front going into the Honda hairpin while in second place attempting to chase down Bautista. The 2018 British Superbike champion remounted his factory Kawasaki at the back of the field to finish 15th.

Honda endured a tough start to 2019 with Ryuichi Kiyonari 16th and Alessandro Delbianco 17th as Leon Camier crashed out early on.