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Bautista and Rea ready to battle again at Misano

Friday, June 21 2019

The Motul FIM Superbike World Championship heads to Ducati home turf this weekend (21-23 June), as the field descends on Misano for the second Italian round of the season.

The Misano rounds mark the halfway point of this year's season, which so far has very much gone the way of Ducati's Bautista, and a victory in Italy would delight the Italian masses expected to descend on the circuit.

But reigning four-time champion Jonathan Rea has begun to eat into his advantage, which included a double win at Imola and then consistent results last time out at Jerez, where Bautista claimed a double win, but then lost ground with a retirement in the final race.

That means just 41 points separate the pair as they head into the round. Kawasaki have a strong history at the circuit, having taken every pole position since 2011, and winning nine of the last 10 races. Bautista has recent experience of Misano though, having raced there several times in MotoGP, leaving him confident ahead of the event.

He said: "It was a pity about my crash at Jerez, but as I said at the time, that's racing, so there's no point in dwelling on it too much! Now we look forward to the next race in Misano, where we did some tests a few weeks ago. Although the conditions weren't great, we managed to get some references for this weekend. I'm looking forward to trying to keep the same feeling with the Panigale V4 R and continue the good work we've done so far. Misano is a second home race for the Aruba team and Ducati, and we will for sure have a lot of fans to support us."

Rea commented: "Misano is a race weekend that I always look forward to. It is the scene of my first ever SBK win in 2009 and the whole atmosphere of being in Italy, and right by the beach, means it has a great feeling to it. And people always come out and watch as well. After a really difficult Jerez it is the perfect place to go to and try and get back the feeling we had in Imola and some previous races. We had a really strong test at Misano just a few weeks ago, where I was both fast and consistent, so we have a really good idea where to start FP1 from, and then build forward from there. I will work with all my crew to maximise our potential."

Next up after Misano is the only UK round of the series at Donington Park on 5-7 July. Tickets are available in advance priced from £25 for adults, with free admission for children under 13. Discounts are available for teenagers aged 13-15. For more information or to book, click here.