After a thrilling battle at Misano, Bautista claimed victory ahead of Rea to extend his lead in the Championship standings
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s Race 1 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” was won by Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) as he claimed a hard-fought victory during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round to extend his Championship lead. Bautista started from pole position but dropped back before battling back to claim victory as he set a race lap record in the closing stages of the race.
ROLLERCOASTER RACE: drama throughout at Misano
Bautista initially lost out at the start but was able to battle back, first to take second place from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) on Lap 4 before making his move on Rea at the high-speed Curvone corner on Lap 13 to move into the lead of the race and from there did not look back as he claimed victory for Ducati on home soil. In the first two-thirds of the race, it was a three-way battle between Bautista, Rea and Razgatlioglu, as has been customary throughout the 2022 season. However, at the end of Lap 14, Razgatlioglu suffered a technical issue on his machine and retired from the race.
Bautista’s victory, by 5.128s after the 21 laps were completed, gave him his 21st win in WorldSBK which puts him level with Max Biaggi on the all-time list. Rea’s second place gave him his 224th podium and ninth in 2022 as well as Kawasaki’s 498th in WorldSBK; just two shy of a landmark 500 podiums.
FOR THE PODIUM: Italian riders battle it out
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) started Race 1 from tenth place but soon found himself inside the top five after an incredible start by the Italian rider, looking to challenge the lead trio at the time for a podium place. He eventually dropped back and had to battle with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) for what would turn out to be a podium position, but Rinaldi was able to make the move for his first podium of the 2022 season and the 11th of his career. Like Kawasaki, Ducati are on the verge of a podium milestone and sit just five away from 1,000 podium placements in WorldSBK. Bassani finished in fourth place as he took his best result of the 2022 season. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) secured fifth place after he battled his way back into a top five finish, finishing ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) who completed the top six with Locatelli just 1.4s back from Lowes.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN: strong results throughout the field
Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) claimed seventh spot as he withstood the challenge from Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team); the American, once again, putting on a late-race charge to claim eighth spot. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) lost ground at the start of the race but was able to fight his way back to a top ten finish as he claimed ninth spot with Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) rounding out the top ten.
TAKING HOME POINTS: scoring a top 15 finish
Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) claimed his joint-best WorldSBK report with 11th place finishing ahead of Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Nozane got a good start and fought his way into the top ten but dropped back as the race progressed before dropping back to 12th. Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) claimed 13th spot after passing teammate Loris Baz in the closing stages, while Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) also passed Baz to finish 14th; Baz claiming 15th place.
TO NOTE FROM RACE 1: housekeeping from Misano
Replacement rider Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) narrowly missed out on points, finishing less than a second behind Baz, on his comeback to the Championship with 16th place ahead of Hafizh Syahrin (MIE Racing Honda Team), Illia Mykhalchyk (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Leonardo Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) and Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura).
Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) was the first retirement from the race after he had a Lap 3 crash at Turn 4, forcing the Frenchman out of the race. Ponsson was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash and declared unfit with a right collar bone fracture and cervical strain. Philipp Oettl (Team Goeleven) had a crash at Turn 8 on Lap 5 and, while the German was able to re-join the race, he retired a short time later. Italian rider Alessandro Delbianco (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) did not compete in the race. Wildcard Gabriele Ruiu (Bmax Racing) was also a retirement from the race after a Turn 14 crash. The Italian did re-join the race but retired from the race following the incident.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 1, full results here:
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +5.128s
3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +8.289s
4. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +10.415s
5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +11.888s
6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +13.320s
Fastest Lap: Alvaro Bautista, Ducati – 1’34.221 (New Lap Record)
Watch Sunday’s WorldSBK action in style from Warm Up at 09:00 Local Time (GMT+2) on Sunday using the WorldSBK VideoPass!