Alvaro Bautista has claimed back-to-back World Superbike podiums for the first time as a Honda rider thanks to a brilliant race two in Jerez. 

The Spaniard came from sixth place in the early laps to pass Jonathan Rea, Michael Rinaldi and then Andrea Locatelli on the final lap to pinch third. 

Bautista followed the Yamaha rider for several laps before visibly getting stronger and stronger as the race went on - a theme for the HRC rider this year as grip conservation has been a big strength. 

The podium didn’t look like an obvious possibility however, as Bautista struggled in the cooler temperatures of race one, even though he collected another top five finish.

The third and fifth place results mean Jerez is Bautista’s best points scoring weekend of 2021 in the feature races alone - the Superpole race was cancelled. 

Speaking after race two, Bautista said: "In the morning race, I struggled a little bit, especially because the track was quite good with grip, so lap times were fast. 

"In that condition, I was struggling with the bike because it becomes more aggressive and more difficult to ride, so I fight a lot with the bike. To finish fifth in race one was really nice because we were riding very similarly to the top riders.”

"I thought race two would be harder with hotter temperatures but, in these conditions with a bit less grip on track, the bike becomes easier to ride, smoother and less aggressive. 

"It allowed me to keep some energy for the whole race. We were very consistent and at mid-race I saw that the riders in front of me had a bit less pace than me, maybe a couple of tenths, so I tried to overtake them and keep my rhythm. 

"I enjoyed passing the other riders, braking and some fighting a lot."