Reigning champion beaten thoroughly by Rookie Bautista but positive of Sunday change and improvement.
Jonathan Rea may have won five times at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, but he has failed to add to his tally yet again. The reigning four-time WorldSBK Champion hardly caught sight of Alvaro Bautista as the Spaniard romped home with an impressive 14.9s win on his World Superbike debut. Still finishing second is still a solid start for Rea and remember, he finished only fifth in the opening encounter of 2018.
The Northern Irishman failed to lead a whole lap of the race for the first time since Brno Race 2 in 2018 and Bautista’s victory ends his winning streak. The Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK rider said: “Alvaro and the Ducati’s pace has been fast since Monday at the test and looking through all of the chronological analysis, my target today was to finish second.”
Rea admitted that he was subdued regarding the gap to Bautista, who gave Ducati their largest ever win at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in WorldSBK: “Of course, I am disappointed with the gap to Alvaro because right now, it’s a little bit too big at this track but, there’s always tomorrow to try and improve.” Will Rea be able to fight back against Bautista tomorrow? Find out with the WorldSBK VideoPass!