The Spaniard paid tribute to his legendary fellow countryman, whilst the rest of the field battled hard in his wake!
The WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race saw another spectacular performance by Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), who breezed to his 13th win in his rookie season. The Spaniard took his home win with a comfortable margin but there were plenty of battles behind the runaway rookie.
Into Turn 1 for the first time off of the line for the first time and Bautista arrived in the lead, whilst it was a bright start for Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) and Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who made it into third position. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was in fourth, with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and his teammate Michael van der Mark). After lap one, starting from 19th on the grid, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was up to 10th, with Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) in his sights.
With the race settling down into a rhythm, Bautista wasn’t pulling away as fast as he did in Race 1 on Saturday, as Marco Melandri pulled clear of Leon Haslam in third place and looked to be trying to go with the Spaniard at the head of the field. Michael van der Mark was trying his hardest to make passes but was beginning to look a bit out of control, as he missed apexes and ran wide when trying to make moves.
Bautista lead Melandri at the front of the field, whilst Leon Haslam was third and looking strong ahead of Sykes. But it was disaster for Alex Lowes, who crashed out in dramatic fashion at Turn 7, resulting in his first back-to-back point-less races since Portimao Race 1 and 2 in 2017. Lowes was OK but a return to Jerez is rapidly turning into a weekend to forget for the Brno race winner from 2018.
Michael van der Mark was a man on a charge as he passed Haslam at Turn 6 on lap five, before then catching Melandri and passing the Italian at the same corner two laps later. A strong end to the race for Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes saw the Brits pass their fellow countryman Haslam in the closing stages too, remaining in that order until the chequered flag.
Bautista took his 13th win of the season, meaning he will start on pole ahead of van der Mark and Melandri in Race 2. The second row will see Jonathan Rea start from fourth, ahead of former teammate Tom Sykes and current teammate Leon Haslam. Rea finishing fourth is the first time since Jerez in 2015 that he has finished two races consecutively off the podium.
Row three and the final points from the Tissot Superpole Race sees Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) start from seventh, whilst home-hero Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) was eighth, with the final point going to Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK). Chaz Davies finished 10th, just outside of the points, after finishing second in the Tissot Superpole Race in Imola.
- Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
- Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)
- Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK)
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
- Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
- Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)