After ten laps around Phillip Island in mixed conditions Alvaro Bautista took victory in the Superpole Sprint Race
After Jonathan Rea took victory in a dramatic race one yesterday he started the Superpole race from second place. Alvaro Bautista returned to pole for this race after a fifth place finish yesterday. Alex Lowes lined up third once again after claiming a podium in the opening race yesterday.
Before the lights went out it was noticeable that Bautista was the only rider who had put slicks on his Ducati to start the race. Razgatlioglu started the race on intermediate tyres, whereas Rea started on a wet front and an intermediate rear.
As the lights went out for the Superpole race it was Andrea Locatelli who got the holeshot. Razgatliolgu led into turn one with Locatelli and Lowes following close behind. Bautista had a dreadful start as he was cautious on his slick option tyres.
At the start of lap two Razgatlioglu led from Lowes and Rea. Bautista dropped right back to 16th and had a lot of work to do around Phillip Island. Lowes took the lead off of Razgatlioglu early on in the lap.
Lap three saw Lowes continue to lead from Razgatlioglu and Rea. Locatelli and Garrett Gerloff sat in fourth and fifth as they chased down the front three riders. Bautista had made his way up to 11th place at the end of the third lap.
At the start of lap four Rea made the move on Razgatliolgu into turn one. Lowes continued to lead, but this time from his teammate Rea in second and Razgatliolgu in third. Bautista made his way up to eighth and set the fastest lap of the race.
At the start of lap five and Rea takes the lead off of Lowes into turn one. Razgatliolgu passes Lowes for second place, relegating Lowes back to third. Bautista finished lap five in seventh place.
With only five laps to go it is looking possible that Bautista could win the Superpole Race from 16th after an awful start. Rea continued to lead from Razgatlioglu and Lowes with Bautista now sixth place.
With four laps to go Rea nearly lost the front exiting Miller Corner, but he kept the lead. Razgatliolgu at MG took the lead off of Rea relegating the Northern Irishman back to second place. Bautista up to fourth at the end of the seventh lap.
With three laps to go Bautista put his Ducati up on the podium as he passed Lowes. Razgatlioglu led from Rea and then Bautista, who was closing in on the leaders quickly!
Two laps to go and Bautista slots into second as he passed Rea into turn two. Into Lukey Heights Bautista takes the lead for the first time in the Superpole Race.
Bautista crossed the line to win the Superpole Race after taking a tyre gamble at the start of the race. Razgatlioglu and Rea finished second and third to complete the podium.
With this ride Razgatlioglu secured second in the Championship meaning Rea would finished third overall. This is the lowest Rea has finished in a Championship standings since 2014.
Images from WorldSBK.com