The Aruba.it Racing rider Alvaro Bautista must be wondering what he has done to deserve the luck he is having at the moment coming into the mid season break in this year’s World Superbike Championship.
The rider from Toledo started 2019 in record breaking fashion, taking 11 straight victories in the first four rounds, giving him a title lead of 61 points. The title looked to be a foregone conclusion, however the reigning champion, Irishman Jonathan Rea was always closely on his heels, never finishing any lower than third place.
Rounds five, six and seven would see Bautista rack up three more victories but also three crucial DNF’s which lost him major ground in the title fight. However it would be rounds eight and nine at Donington Park and Laguna Seca where it would all unravel.
The UK round saw the Kawasaki rider Rea take three solid victories whilst Bautista only could manage a DNF, fourth and a third, loosing a handful of points to his main rival.
The American round would fair even worse with three pointless races for Bautista but two victories and a second for Rea, giving the title lead to Rea.
This swing in fortunes is record breaking, from an 81 point lead to 61 points behind, a total swing of 142 points in just 10 races is the greatest in WorldSBK history.
Bautista’s second place is also not safe as the battle for third in the championship is hotting up with strong results from Kawasaki’s Toprak Razgatlioglu, Bautista’s Welsh teammate Chaz Davis and BMW’s Tom Sykes threatening to enter the podium challenge, as well as the factory Yamaha riders of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark increasing their third and fourth places respectively.
As the WorldSBK circus heads for a 60 day summer break, who knows what can happen in the second half of what has already become a truly memorable season.