World Superbikes: Alvaro Bautista Wins Again As Jonathan Rea Crashes Out In Mandalika



World Superbikes: Alvaro Bautista wins again as Jonathan Rea crashes out in Mandalika

Alvaro Bautista made it five wins from six races in the 2023 World Superbike series while a frustrating weekend for Jonathan Rea ended with the Northern Irishman crashing out in Indonesia.

Defending champion Bautista finished ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Xavi Vierge to extend his series lead.

The Spaniard sits 37 points ahead of 2021 championship winner Razgatlioglu.

Six-time champion Rea was unable to finish the race after he slid off the track as he tried to turn.

Rea’s crash signalled further disappointment for the Kawasaki rider after finishing ninth in Saturday’s race in Mandalika before taking fourth in Sunday’s Superpole contest.

The 36-year-old had hoped to bounce back in Indonesia after ending the opening round in Australia with seventh and eighth place finishes.

While Ducati rider Bautista crashed out of the Superpole race, which was won by Razgatlioglu, the series leader fought back to win a red-flagged race two following a battle with team-mate Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

With the race having been restarted following a crash involving Michael van der Mark and Philipp Oettl, Rinaldi led before Bautista edged him out on the penultimate lap.

Despite starting race two in 10th place after a crash in the Superpole, Bautista tasted more success while a mistake by Rinaldi in the final lap allowed Razgatlioglu and Vierge to deny the Italian a podium finish.

It was a first podium finish for 25-year-old Vierge but a 37th World Superbike victory for his compatriot Bautista, who has opened up a commanding lead at the top of the standings before round three in Assen on 22-23 April.

World Superbike standings

1. Alvaro Bautista (Spa) Ducati, 112 points

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Tur) Ducati, 75

3. Andrea Locatelli (Ita) Yamaha, 70

4. Axel Bassani (Ita) Ducati, 51

5. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ita) Ducati, 47

6. Jonathan Rea (NI) Kawasaki, 44

Source – BBC Sport



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