Jerez WSBK: Bautista dominates as Rea and Lowes collide

Ducati's Alvaro Bautista took a dominant victory in the opening World Superbike race at Jerez as Jonathan Rea finished a provisional third after sending Alex Lowes into a crash.

Jerez WSBK: Bautista dominates as Rea and Lowes collide

Rea converted his pole position into a Turn 1 lead but Bautista looked racy from the get-go and passed his rival at Turn 5 on the opening lap.

Bautista then pulled away, with Rea only a few tenths slower initially, but the Kawasaki rider's pace soon deteriorated.

Rea's deficit to Bautista was five seconds by lap 9 but the Northern Irishman had to turn his attention to the charging Yamahas of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes.

Van der Mark quickly made a move at Turn 6 with Lowes also following suit a lap later but, while the Dutchman pulled away, Lowes couldn't shake Rea off.

Bautista continued to pull away from van der Mark and eventually won his 12th WSBK race by 7.1s, with the latter completing a similarly lonely race in second.

Lowes and Rea meanwhile engaged in a thrilling battle, the duo switching positions numerous times.

Lowes looked to have made the decisive move at Turn 13 on lap 15, but Rea stayed close to him and made a desperate move at the final corner of the race.

But Lowes crashed as a result of the incident, with Rea crossing the line third. The incident is currently under investigation.

GRT Yamaha and Puccetti Kawasaki riders Marco Melandri and Toprak Razgatlioglu had a race-long battle for fifth - which became fourth after the Lowes crash - with the Italian eventually winning the duel.

BMW's Tom Sykes finished sixth followed by Chaz Davies (Ducati), Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha), Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Ducati).

Ten Kate Yamaha scored four points with Loris Baz in 12th, as Yuki Takahashi, Leon Camier's replacement at Honda, crashed at Turn 1.

Cla Rider Bike Time
1 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Ducati 33'32.300
2 Netherlands Michael van der Mark
Yamaha 33'39.419
3 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 33'47.623
4 Italy Marco Melandri
Yamaha 33'52.251
5 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Kawasaki 33'52.407
6 United Kingdom Tom Sykes
BMW 33'55.396
7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies
Ducati 33'59.134
8 Germany Sandro Cortese
Yamaha 34'01.826
9 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Kawasaki 34'02.007
10 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 34'03.518
11 Germany Markus Reiterberger
BMW 34'04.299
12 France Loris Baz
Yamaha 34'09.124
13 Argentina Leandro Mercado
Kawasaki 34'18.345
14 United Kingdom Tommy Bridewell
Ducati 34'20.104
15 Italy Alessandro Del Bianco
Honda 34'24.405
16 United Kingdom Alex Lowes
Yamaha 34'27.346
17 Japan Ryuichi Kiyonari
Honda 34'28.095
Spain Jordi Torres
Kawasaki 6 Laps
Japan Yuki Takahashi
Honda 8 Laps
Jerez WSBK: Rea beats Bautista in Superpole by 0.036s

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About this article

Series World Superbike
Event Jerez
Sub-event SBK Race 1
Author David Gruz