The two-time Champion continued his stunning form with victory in the 8-lap race, while Aegerter became the first Swiss rider to stand on the podium
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed his second victory of the Prometeon Spanish Round in the penultimate race of the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season, while Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) stormed to a maiden podium after he finished 1.5 seconds away from the two-time Champion. The fight for third went to the final stages of the red-flagged Tissot Superpole Race at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto in a race that’ll live long in the memory.
EARLY ACTION BROUGHT TO AN END: red flag interrupts proceedings
The first two laps were action-packed with changes everywhere you looked. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) got the holeshot but his lead only lasted until Turn 5 when Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came bundling through for the lead. The lead group featured about six riders fighting for the lead, including Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK). However, towards the end of Lap 2, the race was red flagged due to track conditions. Aegerter’s engine had smoke pouring out of it, and he pulled off at the side of the track, while Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) crashed at Turn 5; the Spaniard went to the medical centre for a check-up and declared fit.
SWISSTORY MAKER: Aegerter takes first WorldSBK podium, Bautista wins
As three laps hadn’t been completed, the restarted eight-lap race got underway with the original grid; giving Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) a second chance after he crashed on the opening lap of the original race at Turn 6, while Aegerter and Lecuona were also able to restart. The restart was similar to the first one, with the #77 getting the holeshot again and this time leading for longer. Despite Lowes going through on the opening lap, Aegerter came through again at Turn 13, although Bautista passed him on the run into Turn 6 on Lap 2. On Lap 3, Lowes went down at Turn 1 and made contact with the bike of the Turkish rider’s bike, and the Brit went to the medical centre for a check-up. He was later declared unfit with a facial trauma and eyelid wounds.
While the battle for second ignited between Aegerter, Razgatlioglu and Rea, Bautista was able to pull out a gap to make it two from two at Jerez, an take his 58th WorldSBK win. He also secured the Tissot Award for 2023. In the second half of the race, the Swiss star did close in but fell back to claim second and his first WorldSBK rostrum, and the first Swiss rider on the podium; taking full advantage of Rea and Razgatlioglu squabbling behind. The #65 got ahead of the Turk on Lap 6 for second, and he was able to resist any further challenges to claim his 263rd career podium. It means the Race 2 front row will be comprised of Bautista, Aegerter and Rea.
CLIMBING FORWARD: Razgatlioglu, Locatelli make gains; GRT win Independent Teams’ battle
Razgatlioglu will line up from fourth, with his P4 the first time he’s finished a race off the podium this season, climbing a full row forward from his Race 1 starting position, and he’ll be joined by teammate Locatelli on the second row. ‘Loka’ started from tenth but fought his way up to fifth place to give him a better starting position than he had in the first two races of the round despite his crash before the red flag. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) took sixth, and the team’s results meant they confirmed the Independent Teams’ title with one race to go.
AIMING TO FINISH ON A HIGH: third row for Race 2, Bassani secures Independent Riders’ title
German rider Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) continued his strong weekend with seventh, just three tenths behind Gardner. He will be joined on the third row by Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) who finished eighth, three tenths back, and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) in ninth. The #9 was in contention to snatch the Top Independent Riders’ title from Axel Bassani (Barni Spark Racing Team) but his single point wasn’t enough to keep the fight going into Race 2 despite the #47 not scoring; he was involved in an incident with Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) at Turn 1 on Lap 6, which will be investigated by the FIM Stewards. Bassani therefore leaves Motocorsa Racing as a two-time Independent Riders’ title winner.
HOUSEKEEPING: dropping out of the top nine
Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) had been running in the top ten positions, but a technical issue meant he was forced to retire. He will therefore start Race 2 from 10th, with Lowes unfit, and Gerloff will line up from 11th.
The top nine from the Tissot Superpole Race, full results here:
1 Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +1.487s
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.124s
4. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +3.581s
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +5.716s
6. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +6.268s
7. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) +6.572s
8. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +6.878s
9. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +7.342s
Fastest Lap: Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha), 1’39.731s
One last dance in 2023, one last chapter. Don’t miss Race 2 from 14:00 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass – only €9.99!