The first day of racing making up the second round of the Superbike World Championship played out today in sunny yet windy conditions at the Portuguese track of Estoril.
Calm and determined, Team HRC rider Alvaro Bautista made progress throughout the day, going from fourteenth in this morning’s FP3, with a best of 1’37.797, to twelfth in Superpole thanks to a lap time of 1’37.032, which was subsequently cancelled due to the new yellow flag rule.
Forced to start the race from the sixth row, in eighteenth place, the Spaniard proceeded to make a fine comeback, working his way up the field to ultimately cross the line in eighth place, right behind seventh-placed Van der Mark. Bautista did particularly well to retain a pace close to that of the leading group through the second half of the race. A solid result after yesterday’s challenges and one that bodes well ahead of tomorrow’s races, although he will once again have to line up on the sixth row for the morning’s 10-lap sprint.
Haslam held his position off the line, lying fifteenth through the opening stages. By the mid-race point the Brit had made up three places but was unable to make further progress considering the gap that had opened up between him and the group immediately ahead. Haslam therefore crossed the line in twelfth place.