World Superbike organisers have adjusted its approach to the new sprint race and will now recognise it in its statistics and historical data.

The new third race added to the World Superbike format debuted at the 2019 opener at Phillip Island with Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista pipping reigning champion Jonathan Rea to victory.

The win allowed Bautista claim an unofficial hat-trick of triumphs on his World Superbike debut and following the sporting regulation changes the new sprint race – called the Tissot Superpole Race – it has now been officially recognised as a World Superbike race.

Effectively, it means:

- The Tissot Superpole Race start will count as a WorldSBK start

- The Tissot Superpole Race win will count as a WorldSBK win

- The Tissot Superpole Race podium will count as a WorldSBK podium

- Fastest lap set during the Tissot Superpole Race will count as a race fastest lap

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The top nine finishers in the sprint race will continue to determine the starting grid order for the front three rows for Sunday’s full length race two and the points structure remains unaltered.

Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK Executive Director of Sporting & Organisation, says following the success of the initial sprint race at the 2019 opener the new race needed to be given “more value” and seen equal to the traditional two feature races.

“The Tissot Superpole Race was introduced to determine the WorldSBK Race Two starting grid and make it more exciting,” Lavilla said. “We want to offer additional entertainment and race action to all the fans attending the circuit and also for TV audiences.

“After the first round of the season, we were thrilled to see that this had been achieved. At the same time, we also realized that the quality of such close racing that the Tissot Superpole Race provided was the perfect definition of our exhilarating racing experience.

“For this reason, we have decided to give more value to the Tissot Superpole Race and include its results in statistics and historical data.”

As a result of the change Alvaro Bautista officially becomes the first World Superbike rider to claim a hat-trick of wins at a single championship round.

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