FINAL CORNER MOVE: Bautista pips Razgatlioglu by just one tenth in thrilling Superpole Race fight

Sunday, 1 October 2023 10:48 GMT

The reigning Champion closed in on a second riders’ title while he also equalled a long-standing record for wins with Ducati

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) claimed a hard-fought win against Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) in the Tissot Superpole Race with the outcome decided at the final corner. The pair were separated by just 0.142s at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve as the #1 edged closer to a second MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship title, while he also went level with four-time Champion Carl Fogarty for wins with Ducati as the Pirelli Portuguese Round hosted another scrap between the top two.

CLOSING IN: a chance for history in Race 2…

Razgatlioglu got the holeshot from the second row to lead heading into Turn 1 while Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) also got a great start as Championship leader Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) lost ground. However, on Lap 1, the #1 gained two places when the two Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK riders crashed at Turn 5. Jonathan Rea was going for an overtake on Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) ahead and lost the front, while Alex Lowes crashed at the same corner, in a separate incident, when behind the six-time Champion. Both retired from the race and will start Race 2 from the fourth row.

On Lap 5, Bautista got ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) on the run into Turn 1 to move into second place and soon set his sights on Razgatlioglu ahead. The #1’s pace was quicker than the Yamaha ahead and he used this to his advantage at the start of Lap 8 to get alongside but the #54 responded under braking to maintain the lead. He tried again on the start of Lap 9 but remained in second and set up a final lap showdown. A moment over the hill on the penultimate lap cost him time but he was still able to attack on the straight into Turn 1, but Razgatlioglu defended the lead. A big slide for the Yamaha into Turn 13 allowed Bautista to close in and the reigning Champion pipped his rival by 0.142s for his 55th victory with Ducati, putting him level with Carl Fogarty for wins with the Italian brand; this record had stood since 1999. Razgatlioglu took second with Locatelli returning to the rostrum with third.

STARTING FROM THE SECOND ROW IN RACE 2: an epic four-rider scrap for fourth

Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) will line up from fourth after coming out on top in a thrilling scrap for fourth. He was just two tenths ahead of Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) in fifth with the Honda rider lining up on the Race 2 grid from the middle of the second row, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) in sixth. Van der Mark was seventh but was involved in this battle for fourth, with around 1.5s separating the quartet of riders.

IN CONTENTION IN RACE 2? securing a third-row start

Dutchman van der Mark will lead away the third row in Race 2 and will be joined by Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) after he again battled through the field to secure a third-row start. He was just 1.5s behind his BMW stablemate while the fight for ninth went down to the wire between three riders. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) secured P9 and a single point for the Championship, fending off Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) in tenth and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in 11th. Kawasaki-bound Bassani was making moves in the early stages of the race as he looked for a top-nine finish but took 11th.

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

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati)

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.142s

3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +4.024s

4. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +6.984s

5. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) +7.236s

6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +7.549s

7. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +8.387s

8. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +9.898s

9. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) +11.003s

Fastest Lap: Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) – 1’39.826s, New Lap Record

Watch Race 2 from 14:00 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!