Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark took his first WorldSBK win of 2019 in the third race at Jerez this afternoon, crossing the line with a three-second lead over reigning champion Jonathan Rea with Toprak Razgatlioglu in third for his second podium in as many race weekends.
But it was disaster for the Aruba Ducati team as series leader Alvaro Bautista crashed out of the race on lap two, going down unaided into turn one while Chaz Davies was nerfed out of fourth place by an errant Marco Melandri with 11 laps left to run as he tried to push past and both riders went down. The incident is under investigation by race direction.
In a race littered with spills besides that of Bautista, Alex Lowes (Yamaha) fell on his own on lap one, and shortly after that Melandri ran into Davies. Lowes and Bautista had got back on to try and score points – Lowes ending up 14th to rescue two points from a tough weekend.
Michael Rinaldi (Barni Ducati) was fourth today, passing Leon Haslam (Kawasaki ) for fifth, while Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) got the better of Tom Sykes (BMW WorldSBK) for sixth.
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki), returnee WorldSBK rider Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and BSB regular Tommy Bridewell (Team GoEleven Ducati) completed the top ten.