The reigning Champion made it 56 wins on Ducati machinery to surpass Carl Fogarty’s tally, but he just missed out on his second riders’ title
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed another Ducati milestone in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as he took his 56th win with the Italian brand to move clear of Carl Fogarty. It came after another epic battle with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) which was decided with a drag race to the line at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve after the pair traded position a huge 35 times during Race 2 at the Pirelli Portuguese Round.
MAKING HISTORY: Bautista’s hard-fought hat-trick gives him a Ducati record
Bautista’s start briefly kept him ahead of Razgatlioglu but the #54 moved into the lead under braking into Turn 1 before pulling out a slight gap. However, the reigning Champion used his advantage to get alongside heading into Turn 1 at the start of Laps 2, 3 and 4. The Yamaha star resisted under braking although on the latter occasion, Bautista cut back through Turn 2 before the Yamaha star got back ahead at Turn 3.
It was a similar story on Lap 5 despite being ahead for longer down the straight but the Yamaha star’s strength came into its own heading into Turn 1 as he outbraked the Champion-elect. On Lap 6, Bautista was able to hold the lead through Turn 1 but the #54 came back at his rival at Turn 5 but, on Lap 7, Bautista was able to pass him again. The 2021 Champion looked to respond on the inside through Turns 10 and 11 with the #1 holding on around the outside.
Bautista took the lead on Lap 9 into Turn 1 and held the lead until Turn 13, when the Yamaha star came through to take the lead before the reigning Champion overtook him on the run to Turn 1. Once again, the pair swapped positions at Turn 5 before he was able to defend into Turn 1 at the start of Lap 11 although Bautista cutback through the next corner although Razgatlioglu responded into the right-hand hairpin of Turn 3.
At the start of Lap 12, Bautista was able to hold the lead through the first three corners after passing his rival at Turn 1, but it was short-lived. At the left-hand hairpin at Turn 5, the Turk outbraked the Spaniard and passed him. He pulled out a gap of around half-a-second which allowed him to hold the lead on Lap 16, and on Lap 17 the #1 came through again for the lead before Razgatlioglu demoted him to second at Turn 13. A lap later and Bautista once again overtook on the run into Turn 1 while Razgatlioglu re-passed him at Turn 5. On the penultimate lap, the Spaniard was ahead heading into Turn 5 before running wide, allowing his rival through, before a final lap showdown. Razgatlioglu led heading into the final corner, but Bautista was able to get the better of the Yamaha on the run to the line, with the duo separated by 0.126s.
Behind the epic scrap for the win, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) battled from the second row in the early stages to claim a podium finish. At times, it looked like he would close in on the duo ahead, potentially having a huge say in the title race, but the #21 had to settle for third as he finished 1.764s down on the lead riders.
Bautista’s 56th win for Ducati means he’s now one clear of four-time Champion Carl Fogarty’s record of 55 and the #1 is now the rider with most wins for the Italian manufacturer. Razgatlioglu took his 113th podium and 31st of the season while Rinaldi took his 23rd podium.
ANOTHER STRONG RESULT FOR GERLOFF: fourth again for the American
Garrett Gerloff’s (Bonovo Action BMW) impressive form continued as he finished in fourth once again, concluding a strong weekend for both the American and BMW. He was only a second away from a first BMW podium as he finished three seconds ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) in fifth after the #55 started from the front row. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) ended the Portuguese Round with sixth after starting from outside the top ten, the second round in a row he’s completed an epic fightback.
REA FIGHTS BACK AFTER LONG LAP PENALTY: securing a result in the top ten
Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) continued Honda’s uptick in form with seventh, although the Japanese manufacturer did lose more ground to BMW in their Manufacturers’ Championship fight. He was less than a second behind ‘Petrux’ while he also fended off Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) by just 0.108s as the Swiss rider fought his way through the field for P8. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) was ninth with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) completing the top ten.
Rea started from tenth on the grid following his Superpole Race crash but was involved in a Lap 1, Turn 3 collision with Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Xavi Vierge (Team HRC). Rea was given a Long Lap Penalty by the FIM Stewards for irresponsible riding, but he was able to fight back to take tenth, seven seconds behind Oettl ahead.
BATTLING AFTER LAP 1 INCIDENT: Redding, Vierge recover to the points
Despite getting another great start, Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) dropped down the order. The Dutchman was one of only two riders to use the SC2 front while the rest of the field used the SC1 option. He was just over a second back from Rea while he had a charging Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) – his 2024 replacement – in 12th. Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) took 13th ahead of Redding and Vierge who battled to 14th after the Lap 1 incident to claim points.
HOUSEKEEPING: Gardner’s strong weekend ends prematurely
Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had been running in the points but dropped to 16th, and just over a second away from Vierge, while Isaac Vinales (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was three tenths back from his compatriot in 17th. Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) was 18th with Gabriele Ruiu (Bmax Racing) the last classified rider in 19th, only 0.022s behind the Brit.
Hafizh Syahrin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) retired on the opening lap with a technical issue while Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) crashed at Turn 1 in the opening stages. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) had, again, been enjoying a strong race and ran in the podium places in the early stages. However, he was forced to retire with a technical problem on Lap 11.
The top six from WorldSBK Race 2, full results here:
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.126s
3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +1.764s
4. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +2.864s
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +6.373s
6. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +9.305s
Fastest Lap: Alvaro Bautista (Ducati), 1’40.475s
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 566 points
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 506
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 350
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 300
5.Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) 244
6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 233
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