Bautista claims Superpole Race victory, Rea crashes on final lap in podium fight

Sunday, 7 May 2023 09:35 GMT

The reigning Champion made it two out of two in Barcelona while there was drama behind him as Jonathan Rea crashed out

Rain started to fall in the Tissot Superpole Race in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and there was drama everywhere at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Prosecco DOC Catalunya Round as Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) claimed his second victory this weekend. There was a thrilling battle for the podium places as both Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and teammate Andrea Locatelli battled their way to the rostrum.

DRAMA THROUGHOUT: fighting for the front row in Race 2

Bautista led the field away from pole position and he kept that into Turn 1 while teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi surged up the order to move into second place heading into Turn 1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was able to pass Rinaldi on Lap 4 at Turn 11 to move into second place as he looked to close down, but Bautista extended his lead over Razgatlioglu to win the race ahead of Razgatlioglu.

The rain started to fall in the second half of the race and Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) took advantage of this to move into third place after a last-lap fight with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) to continue his podium streak and secure a front row start for Race 2 alongside teammate Razgatlioglu and Bautista. Initially, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was in the fight for a front row start but a crash when he touched the white line under braking for Turn 1, putting him out of the race.

FIGHTING BACK, DROPPING DOWN: securing a second row place for Race 2

Lecuona will start Race 2 from fourth place after his last-lap fight with Locatelli, with the pair separated by half-a-second at the end of the 10-lap race. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was third after his teammate crashed at Turn 1 but he dropped down to fifth on the final lap, missing out on fourth place by just 0.097s. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was sixth after starting from second place but he will start Race 2 from the second row.

COMPLETING THE THIRD ROW: in the top nine in the Superpole Race

Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) continued his strong Barcelona form by taking seventh place after joining the podium fight in the final couple of laps and he was only 0.141s behind Aegerter at the end of the race. Rinaldi eventually dropped down to eighth place to give him a third row start for Race 2. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) will complete the third row for Race 2 as he took ninth spot, with just 1.5 seconds separating Razgatlioglu in second and Vierge in ninth. After his crash, Rea will start Race 2 from tenth place.

HOUSEKEEPING: to note from the Superpole Race

Remy Gardner (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) retired from the race in the closing stages after a technical issue and he was the only other retirement alongside Rea. Loris Baz’s (Bonovo Action BMW) race was disrupted when he had a crash at Turn 5 on the opening lap which dropped him down to last place and he recovered to take 18th.

The top nine following the Tissot Superpole Race, full results here:

1 Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati)

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +2.110s

3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +2.385s

4. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) +2.868s

5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.965s

6. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +3.257s

7. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +3.398s

8. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +4.102s

9. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) +4.884s

Watch WorldSBK Race 2 from Barcelona at 14:00 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!