WorldSBK: Business as usual for Bautista as he completes a Ducati 1-2 at Assen

Published on April 21, 2024
By Luke Newman

After Nicholas Spinelli won a dramatic opening race of the weekend yesterday a dry Superpole Race produced a more expected result with Alvaro Bautista winning the opening race of the day.

With the grid order reset to what it was after qualifying yesterday the Yamaha of Jonathan Rea was back on pole with the Ducati of Nicolo Bulega and the BMW of Toprak Razgatlioglu alongside. With no riders having done race distance in the dry the Superpole Race looked like it would be a lottery for the race and the Championship standings.

At the start of the ten lap Superpole Race it was Bulega who got a perfect start and fired his way to the front after a really short hold on the grid. Behind him was Rea and Razgatlioglu. Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Alvaro Bautista had carved their way to the front as they found themselves in fourth and fifth.

However, an early mistake dropped Bautista from fifth to ninth on the opening lap so the reigning Champion had a lot of work to do.

The battle for second felt like deja vu as Razgatlioglu and Rea began to battle once again like they did in 2020 and 2021. But meanwhile Bulega was checking out at the front ahead of Rea and Razgatlioglu, but with the whole grid on the qualifying rear tyre would the Italian burn out his tyre.

Alex Lowes had joined the battle with Rea and Razgatlioglu and the Kawasaki man looked threatening for the Turkish rider in third place with seven laps to go. A new challenger had also pulled in the group as Remy Gardner was in fifth place, and right on the back of the three WorldSBK veterans ahead of him.

With six laps to go Alex Lowes and Gardner had both passed Razgatlioglu pushing the Turkish rider back to fifth place. Lowes was now chasing down his old team-mate Rea for second place.

Razgatlioglu continued to plummet as the Turkish rider dropped back behind Bautista into sixth. The Spaniard continued to climb through the order as he powered his way into second place passed Gardner, Alex Lowes and then Rea.

With three laps to go Bautista was closing in on his team-mate as he had dropped the gap from 2.6 seconds to 1.2 seconds. Two laps left and it was clear to see that Bulega had burnt out his rear tyre as the Italian dropped back to second as his experienced team-mate Bautista scythed his way into the lead.

Bautista claimed his second race win of the win in a statement making race win as he dominated the field once again. Bulega blew his massive lead as he had to settle for second place behind his team-mate. Completing the podium was Alex Lowes in third place as he claimed third place in the final corner.

This result puts Bautista in control of the Championship for the first time this season and demotes Bulega back down to second place. With Alex Lowes making his way up to third place in the standings ahead of Razgatlioglu.

Full Race Results:


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