Perfect Saturday for Bulega with pole position and victory on his WorldSBK debut. Bautista crashes after a great recovery but keeps charging to take one point.

At the iconic Phillip Island circuit in Australia, Nicolò Bulega writes a page of Superbike history by taking first Pole Position and then triumphing in Race 1 on his first Saturday as a rookie, also setting the fastest lap.
Despite a bad start, the Italian rider stayed with the leading group for the first few laps before taking the lead on lap 7; he was then able to hold the top spot after the mandatory flag-to-flag (introduced for this round), also thanks to the splendid work of his team.
Alvaro Bautista made an extraordinary start from ninth position. At the first corner, he was already second and stayed with the leading group until lap 5 when he crashed at Turn 10 due to an unexpected front-end lock. The Spanish rider didn’t give up, he got back on track and brought home at least 1 point for the classification.

Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #11)
“I am really very happy. This result is important because it confirms the great work we did in the winter with the team. I have to admit that as a first race it wasn’t one of the easiest, also because of the flag to flag. To take pole position and win the race with the fastest lap is something beyond my expectations. Obviously there is still a lot to do but a start like this gives us high confidence both for tomorrow’s races and for the next rounds”.

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #1)
“It’s a shame. Despite a not excellent superpole, I got a very good start. Maybe it was the best start of my career. The feeling was good and I was convinced I could stay with the leading group. Unfortunately, I crashed but I made the most of the rest of the race, to prepare myself for tomorrow”.

WorldSSP
The debut of Adrian Huertas was affected by a technical problem that forced him to leave the starting grid of Race 1 just a few minutes before the start. In light of the new format, the Spanish rider will start Race 2 from the tenth position.