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Jamie Klein

Phillip Island WSBK: Bautista beats Rea in red-flagged finale

An incident involving Eugene Laverty and Xavi Fores at Turn 1, likely caused by spots of rain starting to fall at the Australian venue, prompted the race to be halted prematurely on lap 18 of 22.

As two-thirds distance had been completed, a result was declared, giving Ducati rider Bautista his 16th win of his title-winning campaign in anti-climatic fashion ahead of Kawasaki duo Rea and Alex Lowes.

In the only race of the weekend to start in dry conditions, Bautista led the pack away from pole position, but lost the lead into Miller corner (Turn 4) on the opening lap to Rea, with a fast-starting Scott Redding following through into second.

Bautista was then demoted a further position on the third lap as Lowes passed the Spaniard at the same corner.

However, the newly-crowned champion was soon back on the attack, repassing Lowes at Doohan corner at the start of the fifth lap before picking off a struggling Redding at the Southern Loop.

Making short work of the six-tenth advantage Rea had pulled out, Bautista then swept past Rea along the start/finish straight to move back into the lead at the start of the seventh lap.

From there, the rest of the race turned into a two-way fight between Bautista and Rea, with the Ducati man doing just enough to keep the lead Kawasaki at bay until the race was brought to a halt.

As the BMW of Redding slipped backwards, Toprak Razgatlioglu managed to get ahead of Lowes for what became third place, but the Yamaha rider was powerless to catch the top two, and had to work hard to keep Lowes behind.

Lowes finally got the move done for his second podium finish of the weekend at the start of lap 15, by which point he was two seconds adrift of the lead battle and with no realistic prospect of catching up.

Razgatlioglu concluded the season a muted fourth ahead of Yamaha teammate Andrea Locatelli, while Redding clung on to sixth place - a result that allowed BMW to leapfrog Honda for fourth in the manufacturers' standings.

Honda's chances of keeping the place took a blow on the opening lap as Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) ran into the back of the Fireblade of Xavi Vierge at the Southern Loop, both ending up in the gravel.

Injury stand-in Tetsuta Nagashima did a stoic job upholding Honda honour, but could manage no better than ninth place behind the Ducatis of Michael Ruben Rinaldi and top independent Phillip Oettl (Go Eleven).

Loris Baz completed the top 10 on the Bonovo BMW, but there was concern for the Frenchman's teammate Laverty following his incident with Fores in his final WSBK race before his retirement.

The Ulsterman was seen being stretchered into an ambulance to be taken to the medical centre, but was reported to be conscious. Barni Ducati rider Fores meanwhile appeared to escape the incident uninjured.

Phillip Island World Superbike - Race 2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati 17  
2 65 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 17 0.357
3 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Kawasaki 17  
4 1 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha 17  
5 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha 17  
6 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding BMW 17  
7 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 17  
8 5 Germany Philipp Oettli Ducati 17  
9 49 Japan Tetsuta Nagashima Honda 17  
10 76 France Loris Baz BMW 17  
11 47 Italy Axel Bassani Ducati 17  
12 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark BMW 17  
13 44 France Lucas Mahias Kawasaki 17  
14 52 Czech Republic Oliver Konig Kawasaki 17  
15 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado Honda 17  
16 3 Japan Kohta Nozane Yamaha 17  
17 35 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin Honda 17  
18 11 Kyle Smith Kawasaki 17  
  50 Ireland Eugene Laverty BMW 17  
  12 Spain Xavi Fores Ducati 17  
  97 Spain Xavi Vierge Honda 13  
  31 United States Garrett Gerloff Yamaha 0  
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