2019 Jerez World Superbike Race One Result: Gripping Stuff

World Superbike had a new Pirelli tyre that the front row all loaded on to their bikes as the grid was expanded by the return of Loris Baz on the Ten Kate Yamaha. Tommy Bridewell once again replaced Eugene Laverty while Leon Camier's Honda was ridden by Yuki Takahashi. The new surface offered more grip and the lap record was certain to fall. 

Jonathan Rea led from the lights, ahead of Alvaro Bautista. Alex Lowes came around the outside of Marco Melandri, bouncing off the Italian to take third place from him. At the exit of turn four, Bautista powered past Rea to take the lead and try to make a run for it. At the end of the lap, Melandri got mugged by the other quick Yamaha, conceding fourth place to Michael van der Mark. 

On the second lap, Alvaro Bautista broke the lap record as he escaped from the pack with only Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes able to keep up. A lap later, with Marco Melandri losing another place and entering a race-long duel with Toprak Razgatlioglu, the top three started splitting up, with Bautista starting lap four almost a second clear of Rea who had over a second gap to Lowes behind him. As Melandri and Razgatlioglu swapped places again, Michael van der Mark reeled in his teammate Lowes and stuck in a clean pass on him. 

By lap five, having built over two seconds gap from the Yamahas behind him, Rea started losing time to the bikes behind at the middle of the lap and van der Mark started closing at a rate of three tenths of a second a lap while Bautista escaped at the front.

By lap eight, van der Mark and Lowes closed the gap to Rea and at turn five, van der Mark lined up a pass coming out of the corner, catching and passing Rea's Kawasaki down the back straight and holding second place into turn six. A lap later, Lowes started probing for a way past Rea as the Yamahas still had pace in places the Kawasaki was losing out on. Rea went wide at turn four and Lowes stepped through the open door. Lowes then went wide at turn five, letting Rea past into turn six. At the Jorge Lorenzo corner, turn thirteen, the long hairpin that has been the site of many dramatic passes in World Superbike and MotoGP, Alex Lowes undramatically took the last podium spot from Rea.

As Alvaro Bautista did an Alvaro Bautista impersonation at the front, adding four to six tenths of a second to his gap from Michael van der Mark at the front, Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea fought a battle for third over three seconds behind the settled podium places ahead. On lap fourteen, Rea took third rough the right-hander at turn nine, with Lowes having to wait until turn one of lap sixteen to take third back, building off a fast line out of turn thirteen while Rea took a more defensive line. On the straight between turns five and six, Rea took the place back, but Lowes put himself back in podium contention at thirteen again. 

On the last lap, with Alvaro Bautista eight seconds clear of Michael van der Mark who was almost five seconds clear of the scrap for third place, Jonathan Rea closed in on Alex Lowes at turn eight, but couldn't make any of the usual passes work and had to rely on the last corner of the last lap at Jerez.

As Bautista took the flag and van der Mark finished second, the battle for third reached turn thirteen. Alex Lowes started a fast sweeping line, leaving a little bit of a gap for Jonathan Rea to lunge unto. As Rea entered the turn, he was ahead of Lowes as he missed the apex, not having enough tyre left to make the move he attempted, he clipped Lowes's left elbow with his shin, removing Lowes's glove and any grip the front tyre had, sending Lowes and his bike into the gravel. Rea knew when he missed the tight trajectory that something was up, glancing across to see Lowes in exactly the wrong spot. Rea apologised, looking back and waving to Lowes as he made his way round the corner to take third place. 

Race direction immediately opened an inquest and, as Rea went to apologise to Yamaha on the way to Parc Fermé, the blue team had to hold an angry young lady back as she approached a very emotional Rea. In the interviews, Rea said he was really sorry and that his thoughts were with Alex Lowes. His return to Parc Fermé started with him just holding his helmet-clad head in his gloved hands, but ended with his being awarded third place.

Alvaro Bautista extended his lead at the top of the championship to fifty two points over Jonathan Rea while Michael van der Mark took third place in the title race from his unfortunate teammate Alex Lowes. 

Update: Rea has been penalised, losing one place in the race one standings, promoting Marc Melandri to the podium, and being demoted to the back of the grid in tomorrow's Superpole race. This grid demotion places Alex Lowes on the front row for tomorrow's sprint race.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 19 A. BAUTISTA Ducati Panigale V4 R  
2 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 7.119
3 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 15.323
4 33 M. MELANDRI Yamaha YZF R1 19.951
5 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 20.107
6 66 T. SYKES BMW S1000 RR 23.096
7 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 26.834
8 11 S. CORTESE Yamaha YZF R1 29.526
9 91 L. HASLAM Kawasaki ZX-10RR 29.707
10 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 31.218
11 28 M. REITERBERGER BMW S1000 RR 31.999
12 76 L. BAZ Yamaha YZF R1 36.824
13 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 46.045
14 46 T. BRIDEWELL Ducati Panigale V4 R 47.804
15 52 A. DELBIANCO Honda CBR1000RR 52.105
16 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 55.046
17 23 R. KIYONARI Honda CBR1000RR 55.795
RET 81 J. TORRES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 14
RET 72 Y. TAKAHASHI Honda CBR1000RR 8 Laps
Round Number: 
6
2019
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Total votes: 37

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Comments

Was Lowes' missus apparently (according to Eurosport). I know emotions run high but shouting at Rea like that when he'd come over to apologise did not look classy.

Anyway, thanks for the prompt write up Jared.

Total votes: 32

For most of the race I was comparing Rea's style to most of the others - he never seems to have any wasted movement, it's a very precise style, polished and smart, and as a result the bike rarely looks out of shape (though obviously he did have some moments). Rea's pass on Lowes into the stadium section was particularly nicely set up. But that last corner lunge was moto3-esque, overly ambitious, and I'm surprised that Race Direction let him keep the advantage it gained him. Which is too bad because they were having a good scrap for most of the race, and it looked like Alex had done everything he needed to do on the last lap to get on the podium.

Total votes: 22

No serious injury for Alex Lowes according to two Pata Yamaha people, thankfully.

It was a good race between Jonathan & Alex Lowes, the best I witnessed today. Very disappointing that A. Lowes 22 didn't get any points after an excellent ride. That's racing.

Moto3 or 300 supersport I'd say doc_al not Jonathan's usual style of racing at all. JR was clearly sorry immediately after the incident. Race direction has made the call, let's move on.

Congratulations Michael van der Mark !

More great racing tomorrow & even warmer weather predicted.

Total votes: 18

By all means let’s critique overtakes, racers, rides, teams, tactics etc but let’s leave family out of it. Jared’s race report had, in my view, no need to be as specific on what happened in pit lane after the race. The first respondent, whose contribution I generally greatly admire, fell into the same trap. Happily, subsequent respondents got us back to the racing. Let’s keep the focus on that. 

Total votes: 27

I was deliberately vague in my description of the parties involved in the emotions that happened after the race. It happened, it gets reported, but there's no need to identify the parties unless they're paid to be there.

Total votes: 36

Good racing!

(Alex is beloved, concern is understandable. He has contusions on his left wrist, and a mild shoulder injury/general bruising that will affect his riding but should leave him fit. Rea got sent back one place to 4th, and starts the sprint race from the back of the grid. Melandri inherited a podium). Plenty of history in that corner.

BMW is still on their introductory low spec engine this weekend, right folks? The full fat one should be coming soon and I am eager to see it. Bet Sykes sure is!

Great job VdM and Yamaha. Camier's chances for a podium are the same this weekend as any other, looks like we have 3 great bikes and a 4th arriving. Plus a 2008 Honda. Beautista looks happy!

Total votes: 27

Great to see them in the field and competitive.

Given the lack of real preparation they did an outstanding job to finish in 12th. Fingers crossed for them in the next two races!!!!

Total votes: 21

Should start at the back of Race 2.......not at the back of Superpole Race!! IMO

Total votes: 23