NBA

Alvaro Bautista SURPRISED by Brit star Jonathan Rea at Assen World Superbike race

The Aruba Ducati rider dropped the lead to defending champion Jonathan Rea on the opening lap at Assen, but sat close behind his Kawasaki rival for several laps before pouncing and taking back the lead.

“It was the perfect weekend,” declared the delighted Spaniard, who had also taken the spoils in the earlier battle.

“I was very surprised when I saw Johnny go in front of me in the first lap because he started in eighth so he did really well to come back very quickly. We stuck together for a few laps and I saw my rhythm was a bit faster and I tried to pass and I did it.”

Local rider Michael van der Mark took second place after a late battle with Rea, as the Northern Irishman had to make do with third.

Bautista has now won every race this season and now leads Rea by 53 points in the title chase.

Current drivers standings

Alvaro Bautista – 236

Jonathan Rea – 183

Alex Lowes – 126

Michael van der Mark – 115

Leon Haslam – 93

Chaz Davies – 76

Marco Melandri – 69

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