Bautista Helps Ducati Clinch the Manufacturers Title
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing) extended his championship points lead to 52 points in Race 1 in Portugal. The win was imperative for Bautista with Toprak Razgatlioglu looming for an opportunity to cut into Bautista’s championship lead. That wouldn’t happen today though. Razgatlioglu had to settle for yet another second place finish and Jonathan Rea brought home third for the Kawasaki Racing Team side. It was a great day for Kawasaki with Rea and Lowes finishing in the top 5. With the win Bautista’s path to securing the championship got much easier.
Despite securing pole position Rea lost out early in the race making contact with Bautista. He dropped to 7th but was able to recover. Rea had the following words after the race, “It was so nice to take another Superpole. It was a good lap but so strange because it didn’t feel like a pole position lap because there were a few mistakes in there. At the back end of the session there were a lot of yellow flags so I got my time in early. It was so nice for Alex to be on the front row too, and good for the team. In the race I struggled at the very beginning because Alvaro cut back in T3 and he just picked me up a little bit.”
“Fortunately I stayed on the bike and then I had to regain track position. I got right back there but then the pace, for me, was just too fast. I couldn’t do 1’40s laps. All weekend I have been doing low 1’41s. So the front two were just getting away, getting away – and then in the last half lasted the race I just struggled in corner exit. The rear tire was spinning, the electronics were working too much and it was just a combination of things. So, there is room for improvement and hopefully tomorrow we can get a bit closer.”