World Superbike

Van Der Mark delivers a masterclass as Bautista crashes from the lead

3 Mins read
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Pata Yamaha rider, Michael Van Der Mark clinched his first victory of the 2019 season in fine style at Jerez, which is his first win since he did the double last year at Donington Park

Van Der Mark is the only rider outside of Alvaro Bautista to finish ahead of Jonathan Rea in a race this season, after their battle at Assen earlier in the year. It was an intense battle between the two but, much like race one, it was Van Der Mark who got the better of the four time champion.

Finishing a lonely, but brilliant third was Toprak Razgatlioglu, who produced his joint best result of the season with another third place finish as he did at Imola last time out.  

It was not the battle for the lead everyone expected. On lap two, Bautista made his first mistake of the season and lost the front at turn one. The crowd were stunned as they watched their home favorite trying to rejoin the race. 

The Spaniard had been untouchable all weekend and was, without doubt, the clear favorite. But a costly error for the championship leader meant this was his first non scoring finish of the year.

The Ducati rider did manage to remount but, after spending a lengthy period of time in the pits, he could only rejoin four laps down and was ultimately not classified. 

This left Van Der Mark and Rea with a golden opportunity for victory, and the two were evenly matched during the first part of the race, swapping the lead on several occasions.

However, the Dutchman was able to conserve more of his rear tyre, which was giving him better penetration out of the corners. Rea tried his best to keep pace but, with ten laps remaining, the Yamaha started to pull the pin. 

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After an impressive start, Razgatlioglu was in third place with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri in close proximity. Davies struggled mightily throughout the weekend, but surprisingly looked back to his best in this race. 

The Welshman was building momentum and looking ominous behind the Turkish star, but just as he lined up for a move on the Puccetti Kawasaki, Melandri made a late dash to the inside at the Sito Pons corner and they made contact. 

Davies, who was on the outside, did his best to save the crash but the speed of the contact by the Italian knocked both men down.

Until that stage, it was a very promising weekend for Melandri with two third place finishes, but an error in judgment cost him a chance for a hatrick of podiums. 

On a bad day for the factory Ducati team, there was some consolation to be had as Michael Ruben-Rinaldi delivered his best result of the year, finishing fourth on his Barni Racing Ducati

Fifth was Leon Haslam, who once again was a long way off from where the British rider would expect to be. After starting his season in such impressive fashion at Phillip Island with two podiums, its been a tough return to the world stage for Haslam, who finished just ahead of Sandro Cortese and Tom Sykes

Jordi Torres collected yet another top ten finish with his second eighth place finish of the day, ahead of Loris Baz and British Superbike rider Tommy Bridewell, who produced another top class ride on his second stand-in weekend for the injured Eugene Laverty

It was another awful day for Alex Lowes, who suffered his third crash in as many races. The Brit did manage to rejoin and collect two points, but for Lowes it was a clear missed opportunity this weekend and he will hope to bounce back at round seven in Misano.

The race was cut short and red flagged, with just two laps remaining due to the a crash for Honda rider Ryuichi Kiyonari at turn twelve. The Japanese rider was joined by fellow countryman Yuri Takahashi this weekend, who was riding Leon Camier’s bike as the British rider still recovers from his injuries.

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