COMEBACK COMPLETED: Alvaro Bautista makes a brilliant comeback to win, Toprak P9

Sunday, 21 April 2024 09:50 GMT

The Spaniard clawed his way through the field, claiming his 61st career victory on Sunday morning.

The MOTUL FIM World Superbike World Championship kicked off Sunday’s action at the TT Circuit Assen in sunny conditions, with Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) showcasing an incredible comeback to fight through the field to win a nail-biting 10-lap Superpole Race. The Spaniard won by over two seconds from his teammate Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati), who finished second, making it an Aruba.It Ducati one-two.

SHOCK RESULTS: Bautista wins with the podium decided on the last lap

Once the lights went out, Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) dropped to third on the exit to turn one, with rookie Bulega storming into the lead for the opening stage of the race and building a gap of almost three seconds in the early stages of the race. Bautista made a mistake early on, dropping to eighth. However, the #1 was not the only rider to make a mistake, with Razgatlioglu running wide and dropping from second to fourth – leaving the #54 with work to do. Bautista’s pace picked up, gaining positions and carving his way through the field into second position, and eventually catching his teammate. Bulega who like the rest of the field, opted for the SCQ tyre for the Superpole Race, set the fastest lap in lap three with a 1’33.882. However, once Bautista passed on the penultimate lap, the #11 had no response. Bautista crossed the line to win and complete an incredible comeback ahead of Bulega in second. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) stole third place at the final corner to claim his 37th career podium finish.

REA RETURNS: Jonathan Rea finished inside the top five

Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) did not finish inside the top three, with the Australian unable to respond to Lowes on the run to the line. Rea started from pole and ended the Superpole Race in fifth in a great sign of improvement from the #65, who battled for the podium throughout the race. Rea was ahead of his teammate Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha), who finished in sixth place, less than 10 seconds away from the win.

DISAPPOINTMENT FOR TOPRAK: van der Mark finished as the top BMW

Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) continued to build on his experience in the WorldSBK class, crossing the line in seventh. The Brit was ahead of Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who came across the line to finish as the top BMW in a remarkable result. The home hero was ahead of his teammate Razgatlioglu, who was in ninth, claiming his worst finish since joining the German manufacturer - finishing more than 10 seconds away from victory.

The top nine from the Tissot Superpole Race, full results here:

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing - Ducati)

2. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing - Ducati) +2.686s

3. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +7.403s

4. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +7.551s

5. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +8.177s

6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +9.114s

7. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) +9.702s

8. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +9.824s

9. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +10.034s

Fastest lap: Nicolo Bulega, Ducati – 1’33.882s

Don’t miss Race 2 from Assen at 14:00 Local Time (UTC+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!