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Assen WorldSBK, Superpole Race | Bautista battles back to beat Bulega

Gold & Goose

Alvaro Bautista secured a satisfying second win of the 2024 WorldSBK season with a bullish fight back through the order during the ten-lap Superpole Race at Assen.

The defending champion recovered from an error-strewn opening half of the short sprint that left him running as low as ninth at one stage to claw his way back into contention during the closing stages.

Hunting down team-mate Nicolo Bulega - who was more than two seconds clear of his Aruba.it Racing Ducati counterpart with just three laps remaining - Bautista got the move for the lead done on the penultimate revolution to cruise home the winner by more than +2.5s.


Indeed, the final results give little indication as to Bautista's race of two halves as he - like his rivals - struggled to find his groove in what was the first full dry track running for the field since the event began.

Instead it was Bulega who got the hole-shot from the lights and quickly made a sizeable gap over a chasing pack being led - and somewhat held up - by Jonathan Rea, the Pata Yamaha rider making up for his lack of outright pace by proving very difficult to lever off the apex.

It meant Bulega was more than two seconds clear at the half-way point, a stark contrast to Bautista, whose mistake while fighting over fourth saw him dip to ninth place on the opening lap. However, once he got his head down, Bautista was clearly the fastest rider on track, the Spaniard quickly making up time on the backed up battle for second before swiftly picking them off one-by-one.

Up to second with three laps remaining, Bautista quickly slashed the margin to Bulega in front, lapping 1.5s quicker than his team-mate to move onto his tail-end coming up to the Geert Timmer chicane for the penultimate time. Almost tagging the Panigale as he sidled up to his Pirelli, Bautista led into the final lap before easing round to take a clear second win of the year.

Also a second 1-2 result for the Aruba.it Racing Ducati team, it strengths both riders' title aspirations in a race where there were mixed fortunes for their rivals.

In third, Alex Lowes spent much of his race locked in a battle with Rea and Remy Gardner, but would get the better of the latter on the final lap to deny the Australian his first WorldSBK podium in fourth. Rea held onto fifth for a new personal best with Yamaha, just ahead of team-mate Andrea Locatelli in sixth.

Sam Lowes and Michael van der Mark scored for seventh and eighth, the latter finishing as top BMW rider after Toprak Razgatlioglu faded to ninth with tyre troubles having battled for the podium early on.

Elsewhere, shock race one winner Nicholas Spinelli couldn't showcase the same kind of pace in the dry as he had in the wet en route to 18th, while Andrea Iannone suffered his second non-score of the weekend in 15th.

2024 WorldSBK Results | Assen | Superpole Race Results | Round 3 of 12
1Alvaro Bautista🇪🇦Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R10 Laps
2Nicolo Bulega🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+2.686
3Alex Lowes🇬🇧Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+7.403
4Remy Gardner🇦🇺GYTR GRTYamaha R1+7.551
5Jonathan Rea🇬🇧Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R1+8.117
6Andrea Locatelli🇮🇹Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R1+9.114
7Sam Lowes🇬🇧Elf Marc VDS RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+9.702
8Michael van der Mark🇳🇱ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+9.824
9Toprak Razgatlioglu🇹🇷ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+10.034
10Scott Redding🇬🇧Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR+11.981
11Garrett Gerloff🇺🇲Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR+14.886
12Xavi Vierge🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+15.148
13Axel Bassani🇮🇹Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+15.922
14Dominique Aegerter🇨🇭GYTR GRTYamaha R1+16.927
15Andrea Iannone🇮🇹Team Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+21.202
16Michael Ruben Rinaldi🇮🇹Motocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+22.384
17Tarran Mackenzie🇬🇧Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+25.887
18Nicholas Spinelli🇮🇹Barni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+26.597
19Philipp Oettl🇩🇪GMT 94Yamaha R1+29.518
20Bradley Ray🇬🇧MotoxracingYamaha R1+29.851
DNFAdam Norrodin🇲🇾Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R-
DNFTito Rabat🇪🇦Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR-
WIker Lecuona🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R-

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