PORTIMAO, Portugal – Alvaro Bautista overcame a poor start to outrun Jonathan Rea in the final dash to the checkered flag in Sunday’s World Superbike race at the Algarve Int’l Circuit.
Rea got away from the field from the pole after winning the Superpole race earlier in the day, but Bautista struggled off the line and slotted into sixth on the opening lap.
Toprak Razgatlioglu got off to a fast start to slot into second ahead of Rea’s Kawasaki teammate Leon Haslam. The Pata Yamaha duo of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark were next, with Bautista giving chase from sixth.
Bautista soon began his climb through the field, first dispatching van der Mark at the end of lap one down the frontstretch. He disposed of Lowes two laps later, taking the third position on the fourth lap.
With 15 laps left Bautista briefly moved to the point, but Razgatlioglu was still in the mix and took his turn at the front over Bautista and Rea. Bautista didn’t ride in second for long and he soon returned to the front, dropping Razgatlioglu out of the lead.
Rea soon moved back into second ahead of Razgatlioglu, but he found himself trying to track down Bautista at the front. The gap between the lead duo was roughly a second, but Rea slowly began to cut into Bautista’s lead.
On the final lap Rea closed the gap dramatically on Bautista, but the Ducati power in Bautista’s bike was enough to keep him in the lead as they raced towards the finish line. The gap at the finish line was .111 seconds.
Razgatlioglu finished third behind the lead duo to complete the podium, followed by Lowes in fourth and Haslam in fifth.