Álvaro Bautista continued his winning streak on the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team’s Panigale V4 R when he took the victory in the first race of the weekend at the Buriram circuit in Thailand. The Spanish rider got the better of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) after a superb scrap that lasted until the mid-point of the race. Team-mate Chaz Davies on the other hand was not so lucky, the Welshman crashing out on lap 9.
Starting from pole position after picking up the first Superpole trophy of his career, Bautista went wide at the first turn and was passed by Rea who took the lead of the race. After a contact with the northern Irish rider on lap 3, which almost caused him to crash, Álvaro had to make up the lost time and positions, but he managed to catch and overtake his rival on lap 9, crossing the finishing line with a lead of eight seconds on the second placed man.
Davies started from row 3 with the ninth quickest time obtained in Superpole. The Welsh rider was not far off the group fighting for the final podium place, but he crashed after a mistake at turn 3. Davies managed to remount, finishing in fifteenth place and earning one point.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) – 1st
“For sure for me this was a different race completely from Australia! It was fantastic to win after a great fight with Rea, especially at the beginning and then in the middle. We made contact in turn 3 because I overtook him on the line and suddenly he came in very fast and hit me and I was very lucky not to crash and damage the bike. After that I got my pace and caught Lowes and Rea. Today however I didn’t feel so comfortable with the bike: in the morning it was good but in the afternoon I had problems braking into the corners, and in acceleration I was suffering a bit as well. Despite this, I won again and I’m happy even though the feeling wasn’t perfect.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) – 15th
“I had a decent start and the first few opening laps, then settled into a rhythm and found a way to pass Cortese and put myself into the podium fight which I thought was a realistic target for today. Unfortunately, I pushed the front in turn 3 and got suckered into a mistake because I wasn’t running my own race. It wasn’t a good day, but I feel like I made steps forward; now we have to turn the corner in terms of comfort and get the lap time to come a little easier. Tomorrow we’ll try and go for a different riding position on the bike and change in balance to give me a better feeling.”