The Spanish rider started on the second row but was able to move into the lead battle, before going on to claim victory and Ducati’s milestone podium
History was made in Race 1 at the Prosecco DOC Czech Round as Ducati claimed their 1000th MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship podium placement after Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) battled his way to victory at the Autodrom Most. The Championship leader started from the second row but was able to fight his way into the lead battle in a race held in mixed conditions.
A STEP FORWARD CONFIRMED: another podium for Redding as title contenders fight
Championship leader Bautista started from the second row but soon was able to take advantage of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) battling to close the gap. Bautista moved into second place on Lap 11 with a move into Turn 20 on the reigning Champion, before he followed that up with a move on Rea into Turn 1 at the start of Lap 12. He was able to clear his charging rivals to win by more than two seconds, going on to take his seventh win of 2022 and 23rd victory of his career, while it was also a historic milestone for Ducati as they claimed their 1000th podium placement.
The battle for the podium went on to the last lap between Razgatlioglu, Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Rea. Razgatlioglu made a hard move on Redding at Turn 13, with Redding running a little bit wide and allowing Rea to close in on the BMW rider. At Turn 15, Rea looked to make a move on Redding to move into the podium places but Redding was able to hold on, with Razgatlioglu and Redding completing the podium. Razgatlioglu now has 67 podiums in his WorldSBK career while Redding is on 39, with the British rider going level with Scott Russell at 25th in the all-time list.
ITALIAN TRIO: Bassani takes Independent honours
Places fifth to seventh in Race 1 were taken up by Italian riders. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) claimed fifth place and finishes as the best Independent rider. In the early stages, Bassani had been running in fourth but was eventually passed by Redding and dropped back from the lead group. He also lost time to Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in the closing stages but was able to finish a second clear of Locatelli, who in turn had a three second margin over Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in seventh. Rinaldi had started from third place but lost ground through the opening corners before coming home in seventh place.
TOP TEN: heading into Sunday with a strong result
On his first visit to the Autodrom Most, Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) continued his run of top-ten finishes that has lasted his entire WorldSBK career, with the Spanish rookie finishing in eighth place. It is the best points-scoring streak in WorldSBK since Michael van der Mark scored 19 consecutive points-scoring positions in 2016. He was just over half a second clear of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in ninth place with Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRY Yamaha WorldSBK Team) rounding out the top ten; Gerloff had started from the second row but dropped back at the start of the race. The top ten at the end of the race were separated by just 13.1 seconds, the smallest gap covering the top ten riders in a full-length race since Race 1 at Phillip Island in 2020; 11.922s covered the top ten on that occasion.
ROUNDING OUT THE POINTS: scoring a top 15 result
Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) finished in 11th place, four seconds back from a top ten spot, while he was almost ten seconds clear of French compatriot Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 12th place. Philipp Oettl (Team Goeleven) finished in 13th place, less than a second behind Mahias, with Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) in 14th and Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) completing the points-scoring places with 15th.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from WorldSBK Race 1
Home hero Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) finished in 16th place in Race 1 for his home round, his best result in his short WorldSBK career, with Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) in 17th place. Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) claimed 18th place ahead of Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW), whose future was made known shortly before Race 1, and Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) with the Frenchman rounding out the top 20. Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team), Peter Hickman (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Ryan Vickers (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) were the last classified runners in Race 1.
Wildcard and home rider Michal Prasek (Rohac & Fejta Motoracing) retired shortly after being lapped by the leaders, while Malaysian rider Hafizh Shyarin (MIE Racing Honda Team) suffered from technical issues in the closing stages of the race.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 1, full results here:
1 Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +2.109s
3. Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +2.603s
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.718s
5. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +7.951s
6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +9.105s
Fastest lap: Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha – 1’31.946s – New Lap Record
Watch Sunday’s incredible action from Most from 09.00 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!