After eleven successive wins since the start of the season, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team rider Álvaro Bautista was unable to extend his unbeaten record at the Autodromo di Imola, where this weekend the fifth round of the Superbike World Championship is taking place.
Starting from the front row with third place on the grid, the 34-year-old Spanish rider – and championship leader – was unable to do anything about his Kawasaki rival Jonathan Rea, and after 19 laps Álvaro had to settle for second place in the first race this weekend.
Team-mate Chaz Davies was unlucky today, despite starting from the pole slot after making major gains throughout the weekend. Totally at ease on the track where he has won a total of four times, the 32-year-old Welshman saw all his hopes of victory vanish after just four corners, when an electrical problem on the engine of his Panigale V4 R forced him to retire from the race, without him even completing one lap.
Tomorrow the ten-lap Superpole Race will be held at 11.00 CET, while Race 2 gets underway at 14.00.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 2nd
“For sure it hasn’t been easy to learn the track in just a few sessions, and in addition the race pace today was very high. At the start I tried to follow Jonathan but I struggled to keep his pace. Nevertheless, I’m happy because today we scored the best possible result. We didn’t make any mistakes and in the end it was important to score good points for the championship. I’m also happy because I think it was a good result to finish the race in second place on a track which was completely new for me until today.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – DNF
“I’m massively disappointed because I saw today as a big opportunity. I felt a big improvement with the bike from yesterday, the crew did a fantastic job and we made another step forward. I did a record lap in Superpole, was looking forward to fighting with Johnny and putting the bike on top of the podium. I didn’t have a lot to lose but I didn’t get very far. It seemed like an electrical problem, because the bike lost power coming out of turn 4 and Johnny overtook me. It’s a pity, I’ll try and get a good result tomorrow but the weather doesn’t look so good.”