Alvaro Bautista survived close contact with main championship rival Jonathan Rea to win race 1 in Thailand.
Spanish Aruba Ducati rider took his fourth race win from four races of the season so far after recovering from a close contact and beating stern challenge from his main rival Jonathan Rea to win by 8s at the end of 20 laps long encounter.
Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes was further 7s behind them to complete the podium and beating his team mate Michael van der Mark by half a second, as Dutch rider had to settle for fourth position in the end. Rea’s team mate Leon Haslam and GRT Yamaha rider Marco Melandri finished in fifth and sixth position one tenth apart from each other and 3s behind factory Pata pair, as both were involved in four rider scrap for final podium place earlier in the race.
Behind top 6 it was Melandri’s team mate Sandro Cortese, who ended his relatively lonely race in seventh position, almost 7s behind but 2s ahead of his nearest opposition in the form of Barni Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi. BMW’s Tom Sykes had to settle for ninth position at the end, with being as high as fourth at the start of the race his own highlight of the afternoon as German manufacturer battle to get more engine power as soon as possible continues. Puccetti Racing rider Toprak Razgatlioglu completed the top 10, finishing the race 32s behind dominant Bautista.
After top 10 it was Pedercini’s Jordi Torres who ended the race in P11, 3s behind young Turkish rider and ahead of another Kawasaki rider in form of Leandro Mercado, as Spanish and Argentine rider were split by 2 tenths of a second at the finish line. Moriwaki Honda’s Leon Camier was less than a second away from the Kawasaki pair, finishing the race in P13, as Honda’s struggles of showing some strong form continues. Sykes’ team mate Markus Reiterberger recovered from a very poor start to finish the race in P14, while last point for P15 was collected by Chaz Davies, who crashed during the race and remounted to be the last point scorer of race 1. Thai wildcard Thitipong Warokorn and Italian Alessandro Delbianco were the last riders across the line, finishing the race in P16 and P17 respectfully. Irish rider Eugene Laverty, who had to bail his bike after brakes failed going into the last corner, and Japanese rider Ryuichi Kiyonari, who fell, were the only rider not finishing the race.
Superpole race happens on Sunday at 6am uk time and Race 2 for SBK happens at 9am uk time.
Race 1 results:
Featured Image Credit: Official Ducati website