Bautista’s SCX tyre gamble pays off in shortened Superpole Race as he fends off Razgatlioglu

Sunday, 4 June 2023 09:39 GMT

Reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista was one of two riders to use the SCX tyre as everyone else opted for the new SCQ at Misano

A tyre gamble for Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) paid off in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round as he used Pirelli’s SCX tyre to victory while his rivals used the SCQ. With the red flags deployed on Lap 8 of 10, Bautista timed a Lap 7 overtake perfectly on Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) to take his second victory of the weekend.

SHORTENED RACE BUT GAMBLE PAYS OFF: differing tyre choices

Once again, Razgatlioglu looked to get a better start than Bautista but the reigning Champion was able to resist the pressure into Turn 1, before Razgatligolu passed him at Turn 4. They switched positions on Lap 3 when Bautista made the move into Curvone before Toprak again passed him at Turn 4 on Lap 5. On Lap 7, Bautista was able to get ahead again, and the red flags were deployed moments later after a Lap 7 crash, with the race stopped just as the two leaders started Lap 8, involving Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) at Turn 8, meaning he claimed his second win of the weekend at Misano ahead of Razgatlioglu. The Turkish rider used the start to stay ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) in third, with the trio sharing the front row for Race 2. Lecuona and Petrucci were taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash.

SECOND ROW START FOR RACE 2: just missing out on a podium

Fourth place went to Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) after he battled with Rinaldi in the early stages of the race, with the Independent Ducati rider passing the factory Ducati competitor on Lap 2 before Rinaldi responded immediately to deny Bassani a home podium. Two Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK riders will join Bassani on the second row for Race 2 with Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes in fifth and sixth respectively in the shortened eight-lap Superpole Race.

MOVING UP: taking a third-row grid place

Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) will line up in Race 2 from seventh place after he passed Lecuona on Lap 7 into Turn 1, giving him a third row start for Race 2. He was ahead of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) in eighth while Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) was the main beneficiary of the Petrucci-Lecuona incident as he secured ninth place, giving him a third row start for Race 2 as the highest-placed BMW rider.

HOUSEKEEPING: GRT Yamaha’s race unravels on the opening lap

It was a difficult race for the GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team with Dominique Aegerter finishing 23rd, the last of the classified riders, and Remy Gardner retiring from the race. The pair were involved in a collision with Petrucci at Turn 2 on Lap 1 when in the top ten, with the double WorldSSP Champion able to continue but his rookie teammate retiring. The incident was investigated by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards with Petrucci given a Long Lap Penalty for his role in the collision. The Italian rookie completed this before his crash with Lecuona. Gardner was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash.

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

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati)

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.101s

3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +0.738s

4. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +2.239s

5. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.390s

6. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.955s

7. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)

8. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC)

9. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW)

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