Bautista sweeps top spot at Phillip Island test

Alvaro Bautista tops every session of the pre-season test at Phillip Island for Racing Ducati
Bautista sweeps top spot at Phillip Island test

Alvaro Bautista has topped every session of the final pre-season test at Phillip Island for Racing Ducati ahead of the 2019 World Superbike championship.

The Spanish rider, equipped with the new Ducati V4, will make his World Superbike debut this weekend at the Australia track and enjoyed a perfect start by leading both test sessions on the opening day before repeating the feat on the concluding day.

Bautista improved on his best lap from Monday with a 1m 30.303s in the opening session with conditions at their best as the second test session was hit by rain.

The former MotoGP rider also topped the second session despite not improving on his personal best, which saw Tom Sykes climb to second place with a 1m 30.539s for the new factory BMW squad.

Kawasaki Racing Team duo Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea grabbed third and fourth place respectively on the combined times to edge GRT Yamaha’s Marco Melandri to fifth place after the Italian rider had gone second fastest in the opening session. Melandri claimed a dominant double victory at Phillip Island for the factory Ducati squad 12 months ago.

Despite the tricky conditions in the second session, Turkish Puccetti Kawasaki’s Toprak Razgatlioglu impressed to move up to sixth place overall and edge Pata Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark to seventh having set his personal best in the opening session.



Sandro Cortese claimed eighth place for GRT Yamaha ahead of Alex Lowes who endured an eventful day for Pata Yamaha. After ending Monday’s test action in second place, the British rider saw his progress stalled by two crashes; at Turn 1 in the morning which triggered a red flag and at Turn 4 in the afternoon.

Jordi Torres rounded out the top ten for Pedercini Kawasaki ahead of fellow customer Kawasaki rider Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) to see BMW’s Markus Reiterberger shuffled to 12th place.

Leon Camier continues to lead the Moriwaki Althea Honda charge ending the day 13th overall, 1.1s off pace-setter Bautista, with factory Ducati’s Chaz Davies still struggling down in 14th place, splitting the two factory Hondas with Ryuichi Kiyonari 15th.

Eugene Laverty completed just 13 laps following a technical issue on his Team Go Eleven Ducati midway through the morning session which restrained him to 16th, ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Ducati), Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Honda) and local wildcard Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda).