Spain’s reigning world champion Alvaro Bautista has completed a hat-trick of victories to become the most successful superbikes rider ever at Victoria’s Phillip Island.
Bautista completed a clean sweep on Sunday of the three events, repeating his 2019 triple-treat at the iconic track.
The Ducati ace now has eight career victories at Phillip Island, and became the the first rider to complete a second hat-trick at one circuit in superbikes history.
Bautista banked a fifth career hat-trick as his love affair with the island continued.
“They were three very different races, but I felt good on each one and was competitive in each one so I am really happy,” Bautista said.
“I like the fast corners. I was fast during the winter test so I don’t think that I am only fast at this track.
“I made a good step forward also because I know the bike much better, the tyres with the bike … the new bike gave me a bit more of a drive out of the corners so it was just a combination of everything.”
Bautista won Sunday’s second race ahead of Ducati teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli.
Australia’s Remy Gardner, son of motorcycling legend Wayne Gardner, finished 10th in race two after placing 12th on his Yamaha in Saturday’s opener.
Gardner was involved in a flashpoint midway through race two. Pushing to rise into third sport, his late dive into turn four resulted in a hard-hitting collision into the rear of his teammate Dominique Aegerter.
“It was not the result we expected in the end,” Gardner said.
“I made a mistake … but for positives I think we did show we have the speed to be there.
“If we didn’t have that mistake … we were fighting for the podium there.
“We have to be happy that we do have the speed and we have to learn what we need to improve on for the next weekend.”