Aruba Ducati rider managed to fend off advances of reigning champion Jonathan Rea to win 10 lap sprint.
As Superpole race followed qualifying results in determing the grid positions, it were Kawasaki pair of Rea and Haslam who started from first two positions with Bautista starting from third position.
It was Jonathan Rea, who managed to get the cleanest start and lead into the first corner, followed by Bautista and Pata Yamaha rider Alex Lowes, while Leon Haslam dropped down to fourth position. Over the course of first lap Lowes managed to put his Yamaha into second place, but Bautista used superior acceleration and power of his Ducati V4 R to retake second position on the start finish straight on lap 2, while also taking the lead into turn 1, before Rea took it back at Honda corner. Bautista tried for the next 2 laps to regain the lead using Ducati grunt, but Rea was able to hold him off by braking later, which prompted a change of tactics from Spaniard, who again attacked at turn 2 in a move that would eventually decide the race.
From that move onwards Bautista managed to keep Rea at bay and slowly started to move away from him, eventually winning by a second. Behind dominant duo it was Leon Haslam who finished third, five seconds off the lead, 1.7s ahead of Alex Lowes, who dropped the pace a bit after early heroics, but kept it strong enough to keep his team mate Michael van der Mark behind him, as Dutch rider had to settle for fifth position. GRT Yamaha’s of Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese were next across the finish line, with experienced Italian putting a late move on his rookie German team mate to secure sixth place in the end, with reigning Superport champion ending in seventh. Barni Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi ended up in eight on his Showa mounted Ducati V4 R as all three remaining Ducati’s ended up the race close together, with GoEleven’s Eugene Laverty and Aruba Ducati’s Chaz Davies in ninth and tenth position at the end of the 10 laps long sprint.
BMW pair of Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger ended up 11th and 12th, as they have to deal with big acceleration and straight line speed disadvantage with their new BMW S1000RR’s. They managed to end the race ahead of Honda pair of Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari, who were 13th and 14th across the line, with Toprak Razgatlioglu finishing in 15th position, as he was included in a last lap crash that included sister Kawasaki riders Leandro Mercado, who was alongside Althea MIE Honda rider Alessandro Delbianco the only rider who didn’t finish the race, and Jordi Torres, who managed to recover to finish the race behind Australian wildcard Troy Herfoss in 17th position.
Featured Image Credit: World SBK