World Superbikes Aragon: Magnificent seven for Alvaro Bautista as Jonathan Rea battles his way to runner-up spot

Jonathan Rea had to dig deep to finish as the runner-up in Saturday's opening World Superbike race at Aragon in Spain.
Jonathan Rea had to dig deep to finish as the runner-up in Saturday's opening World Superbike race at Aragon in Spain.

Unstoppable Alvaro Bautista was in seventh heaven as the Ducati rider once again blitzed his rivals to extend his lead in the World Superbike Championship over Jonathan Rea.

Bautista disappeared at the front as he left the field in his wake on the Panigale V4-R, but in a drama-filled race behind him, reigning champion Rea - who started from 10th place on the grid - pulled out all the stops to keep Welsh rider Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Ducati) behind him to secure his seventh straight runner-up finish, 15 seconds behind the winner.

Spain's Alvaro Bautista made it seven wins in a row as he won race one at Aragon on the Aruba.it Ducati.

Spain's Alvaro Bautista made it seven wins in a row as he won race one at Aragon on the Aruba.it Ducati.

Rea was fortunate to stay upright after German competitor Marcus Reiterberger collided with the rear of his Kawasaki on the grid as the race started, leaving the BMW Motorrad rider lying on the track.

There was massive disappointment for Toomebridge man Eugene Laverty, who was right in contention for the rostrum behind Rea and Davies on the final lap when he crashed out on the Team Go Eleven Ducati after clipping Davies’ machine

For Rea, it was damage limitation once more as Bautista won his seventh race in a row, becoming the first Spanish rider to win a World Superbike race in Spain since Ruben Xaus in 2007.

Alex Lowes finished fourth on the Pata Yamaha ahead of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad), while Michael van der Mark finalised the top six (Pata Yamaha).