As far as weekends go, they don’t get more up and down than a mixed weekend at Portimao; but Alvaro Bautista’s Race 2 victory showed everyone the title fight is still alive
After a couple of winless rounds, Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was back to valiant victory success on his racing debut at Portimao. The 34-year-old Spaniard gave himself work to do but fought through the pack to hit the front, despite excruciating pain from his injured shoulder. Finding himself down in sixth place after Lap 1, Bautista overcame both Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team bikes and both Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK bikes, as well as a relentless Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) to take his 15th career victory in WorldSBK.
However, simply overcoming them didn’t mean the fight was over; Bautista faded in the last two laps, meaning that with almost unbearable pain, he had to hold on for nine more kilometres. Jonathan Rea’s charge kept Bautista honest and as the two crossed the line, the Spanish rookie held off Rea onslaught by a mere 0.111s – the closest finish of the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season.
Will we see a closer finish to a WorldSBK race in 2019? Find out with the WorldSBK VideoPass!