Alvaro Bautista says Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s extensive winter testing programme with the new V4 R and his race strategy at Phillip Island provided him with the tools to produce an untouchable race pace and win on his World Superbike debut.

Bautista made World Superbike history by becoming just the sixth rider to win on his debut in the series, and first since Max Biaggi achieved the feat in 2007, along with collecting the maiden win on the new Ducati V4 R.

Having notched up impressive pace across the pre-season test and the practice sessions leading into the race weekend at the Australian circuit, Bautista bolted into the lead on lap one ahead of Kawasaki duo Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam before extending the time gap almost at will.

Bautista crossed the finish line almost 15 seconds ahead of Rea in second place, often pulling clear by almost a full second per lap, and felt all pre-season preparations paid off on his World Superbike bow.

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“This victory has given me such incredible satisfaction and I’m really happy to have won my first World Superbike race,” Bautista said. “For sure we worked well throughout the winter months and this allowed us to prepare a competitive bike for the first round.

“Today I wasn’t able to set the pole because I still have to understand how the qualifying tyres work, as they are completely new for me.

“In the race however I was really confident because I knew I had an excellent pace, and my strategy was to take the lead as soon as possible and then keep a consistent pace. I could see that the gap was increasing lap after lap, even though I was trying to manage the tyre wear, especially towards the end of the race.

“I’m really happy and I’d like to thank Ducati, Aruba and the guys in my team, now we’ll see if we can keep this up.”

Bautista’s performance also eclipsed the other Ducati riders with Barni rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi finishing in ninth place, 25.5s behind the Spaniard, while factory Ducati rider Chaz Davies was 10th and Eugene Laverty (Go Eleven Ducati) 12th.

The victory also marks Bautista’s first career win since he reached the top step of the rostrum at the 2009 Catalan 250cc Grand Prix race.

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