Alvaro Bautista claimed three wins across the Emilia-Romagna Round to complete what he described as a “very special” weekend
The Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship belonged to one rider at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” as Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed a stunning hat-trick on Ducati’s home soil to extend his Championship lead, as he added two more wins to his collection on Sunday. It now means Bautista has won 14 out of the 15 races run so far in 2023 as he sits 86 points clear of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) in the Championship standings.
After claiming victory in Race 1 on Sunday, Bautista endured a tougher Tissot Superpole Race as he battled with Razgatlioglu for victory. Bautista made his move on the 2021 Champion on what turned out to be the penultimate lap, with the race red flagged on Lap 8 after a crash involving Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) and Iker Lecuona (Team HRC). In Race 2, Razgatlioglu once again got a good start and tried to fight with Bautista but the reigning Champion was able to pull away from Razgatlioglu as the race went on as he claimed a Misano hat-trick
On his hat-trick, which he took in a special yellow livery, Bautista said: “Fortunately, in red or yellow, I have the same feeling with the bike. We had the same performance, so the colour doesn’t matter, what’s important is inside. It was a very special weekend for Ducati and also for me because, in the end, I feel half-Italian half-Spanish because I’ve worked with Ducati for many years and I feel so good. Last year, we won two out of three races but this year we did the hat-trick so I’m happy.”
With 14 wins in the first 15 races of the 2023 season, Bautista is the only rider to have enjoyed such a strong start to the campaign with the reigning Champion only dropping 12 points after he crashed out of the Tissot Superpole Race at Mandalika. He is also now on a run of 10 consecutive wins, the second-longest in WorldSBK history; behind only his own run from 2019 and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) when they won 11 in a row.
Looking back on the first five rounds of the season, Bautista explained: “It’s unbelievable how we started the season, but the important thing is the feeling I have with the bike. I can ride it at my best, and I can get to the limit of the bike at all tracks and in all situations so I’m really happy for that. Records are to be looked at after my retirement but, now, we are building our way to try and keep this feeling with the bike to work. This is not the end. We have to keep working like this.”
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