Aruba Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista has taken his first WorldSBK win since June, taking victory in the final race at Portimao today by a tenth from Jonathan Rea.
Bautista took second in the morning’s Superpole race and went one better in the afternoon’s 20-lapper, taking the lead from series leader Jonathan Rea with 14 laps to go and opened up a gap but the closing lap, Rea got it down to the wire.
A great multi-rider fight for the win saw championship contenders Rea Bautista take turns to lead in the first half of the 20-lap contest, as five riders made up a charging front group.
Bautista got the front and started to stretch the group out behind, with Rea fighting to maintain his half-second gap up to the lead.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) became a more defined third as the laps counted down.
Alex Lowes (Yamaha) finally got the better of his old friend Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) going into the first corner braking area, but Haslam dug in to stay on his tail.
Up front just as Bautista looked like he may make a clean break with seven laps to go Rea responded to keep the gap under a second each time.
Only the top three riders – plus the advancing Loris Baz – were on 1’42 lap pace as the two-thirds mark was reached and then passed. Only Bautista was inside the 1’42s with a handful of laps left, as he stretched out his advantage with two laps left to 1.5 seconds.
As Haslam had a go at passing Lowes again VDM almost got Haslam, as Baz closed in on them all from behind.
Rea cut the advantage of Bautista to just over a second with two laps to go and the final gap across the line was just 0.111 seconds after Rea demonstrated great pace and fight in the final lap.
Razgatlioglu was a solitary third, with Lowes winning his personal battle with Haslam for fourth.
Sixth place was taken by Loris Baz, winning the sprint to the line from Van der Mark.
Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) placed ninth and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was tenth.
Chaz Davies had a nightmare, finishing outside the points in 16th with sort-of brother-in-law Eugene Laverty two places ahead.
In the championship, Rea leads Bautista by 91 points; Lowes is third, five points ahead of van der Mark.