Spaniard fends off Rea in thrilling race two victory at the Portuguese round.
Alvaro Bautista admits he ‘didn’t have anything left’ in his slender 0.111s victory over Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in race two at Portimao’s 10th round of the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), which saw the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati rider return to the winners circle for the first time since round seven in July.
The Spaniard, who recorded a 4-2 scorecard in the opening encounter and Superpole race, put on an incredible charge in race two despite still dealing with a shoulder injury, where he managed to fend off four-time champion Rea on the final lap to claim victory.
“It has been a very tough weekend for me, especially physically because my shoulder is still not at 100 percent,” said Bautista. “I felt worse this morning after yesterday’s race so I tried to start well in the Superpole Race. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of positions and used up most of my energy, but I finished second which meant that I could start from the front row in race two.
“In the afternoon I again made a bad start, lifting the front of the bike up and losing some positions but I was still in the leading group so was not too worried. Mid-race I felt my pace was stronger so I decided to go for the lead and push hard until the end.
“I could manage the advantage but in the last two laps I felt every drop of energy leave me, luckily it was the last lap because I didn’t have anything left. It was my first time here in Portimão and I’m happy to get a win again after more than two months.”
The WorldSBK rookie still maintains second in the standings, 91 points behind Rea as the series heads to Magny-Cours in France on 27-29 September.