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Bautista The Unbeatable In Thailand | SPORT | WSBK

Six races into the Superbike World Championship and the combination of the new Ducati Panigale V4R and Alvaro Bautista have won six times, and convincingly on each occasion.

In the final race of the Chang International Circuit weekend Bautista was not seriously bothered by any of his rivals, breaking free and setting a consistently faster pace as the race unwound to all 20 laps. He ended up 10.053 seconds up on the next best rider.

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and his race-long shadow Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) competed for second place with Rea scoring his sixth straight runner-up spot in 2019 to date. Lowes lost some of his pace towards the end; Rea finishing 2.3 seconds ahead of the Yamaha rider at the flag.

Another close fight for the off podium spots saw Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) in contention, sometimes dramatically.

VDM was fourth, Haslam fifth and Melandri sixth.

Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) almost got onto the back of the three-rider group in front or a spell, but finished a lone seventh.

On a strong new Ducati package Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati) was a similarly lonely eighth.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) and Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) pitted their Ninjas against each other for ninth, with the Turkish rider coming out on top.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) had been up as far as fifth place but his bike gave out on him and he pulled in to retire. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was another not to finish the final race in Thailand. Leon Camier (Moriwaki-Althea Honda Racing Team) was one of the non-starters, having tweaked his knee in his sprint race crash.

In the championship, Bautista has 124 points, Rea 98, Lowes 69, Van Der Mark 61 and Melandri 54.

By Gordon Ritchie
Photos GnG