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Bautista doubles up and then crashes at Jerez WorldSBK

Monday, June 10 2019

Motul FIM Superbike World Championship leader Alvaro Bautista claimed two more wins over the weekend at Jerez to bring his season tally up to 13 for the season so far. But drama was to follow in the final event of the weekend as Bautista crashed out, handing a first victory of the season to Yamaha's Michael van der Mark.

Qualifying went the way of reigning champion Jonathan Rea but it didn't take long for Bautista to force his way past on the opening lap and began to pull away, leaving Rea to fight with the Yamahas of van der Mark and Alex Lowes. The Dutchman moved past Rea to claim second place, with Lowes the next to challenge for the final podium spot. Lowes inched past as Rea made an error, but made an error of his own to allow Rea back past. Multiple passes between the pair ended in controversy at the last corner of the last lap as the pair collided, forcing Lowes into the gravel and out of the race.

Rea was handed penalties that firstly relegated him from the podium, handing third to Marco Melandri, and also forced him to start from the back of the grid for Sunday's two races.

Bautista stormed to victory again in the Sprint Race, while Rea surged from the back to another fourth place. Dutchman van der Mark and Italian Melandri added further podium finishes to their race one results, while Rea's charge saw him up to fourth before the half race point.

Race three saw Bautista make his first major race error of the season. Leading once more, he crashed at turn one on lap two, handing the initiative to van der Mark who powered to his first win of the year. A series of other spills aided Rea to second place, while Turkish ace Toprak Razgatlioglu claiming third.

Following the drama of race one, the weekend didn't get much better for Donington local Lowes as he crashed out of race two at high speed, and then fell on lap one of the final contest, but recovered to 14th. Fellow East Midlander Leon Haslam also had a tricky weekend with a best finish of fifth in the final encounter.

In the championship battle, the gap between Bautista and Rea was actually trimmed from 43 points to 41 points across the weekend, mainly thanks to Bautista's dramas in race three. The WorldSBK riders now head to Misano in Italy before the UK round at Donington Park on 5-7 July.

Tickets for the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park are available in advance priced from £25 for adults with free entry for children under-13. For more information and to book, click here.