Razgatlioglu leads Yamaha 1-2 in shortened Superpole Race, Bautista crashes out

Sunday, 5 March 2023 03:28 GMT

There was drama throughout the Superpole Race in Indonesia and Razgatlioglu claimed his first win of the 2023 season

There was plenty of action throughout the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s Tissot Superpole Race during the Motul Indonesian Round at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) claimed his first win of the 2023 season in a dramatic, shortened Superpole Race while Championship leader Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) crashed out just shy of the halfway point in the 8-lap restarted race.

DRAMA FROM THE START: Yamaha 1-2 in the Superpole Race

The original start in the Superpole Race was red flagged at the start of Lap 2. There was a crash on Lap 1 at Turn 2 involving Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team WorldSBK) with Lowes and Baz retiring from the original race but Petrucci able to continue. The incident was investigated by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards, with no further action taken. A lap later, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed at the same corner with the red flags deployed shortly after. Rea was able to make his way back to the pits on his machine to take the start in the restarted race, while Lowes and Baz were able to take to the restarted race.

In the restarted race, Razgatlioglu and Bautista went head-to-head on the opening lap for victory with the 2021 Champion securing his first 2023 win as he broke clear of the gap. Bautista had looked like he was going to claim second spot, but Rea closed in on him on Lap 4, making a move at Turn 12 to move into third. Rea had a massive moment right after passing Bautista on the exit of Turn 12 but saved it, while Bautista had his own moment that he couldn’t save; Bautista went down and retired from the race. That drama allowed Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) to move into second place, while Lowes took third spot at the chequered flag. It means that Razgatlioglu, Locatelli and Lowes will start Race 2 from the front row while Bautista will line up tenth.

IN THE TOP SIX: fierce fights for a second-row start

Rea took fourth place in the Superpole Race after taking to the restarted race after he fended off a late challenge from Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in fifth place, with the pair separated by just a tenth at the end of the race. The pair will line up from the second row for Race 2 later on and they will be joined by Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) as he fought his way to sixth spot and a second row start for Race 2.

THIRD ROW FOR RACE 2: ups and downs

Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) lost ground at Turn 1 in the second half of the race as he ran wide and dropped down the order, but was able to recover to seventh place at the end of the race but he had to fend off two charging BMW riders behind him. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) took eighth ahead of teammate ninth, while Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) rounded out the top ten and was two seconds away from a place in the top nine.

HOUSEKEEPING: to note from the Superpole Race

Baz and Lowes had another collision in the restarted race with Lowes attempting to pass the French rider into Turn 10. Lowes made contact with Baz’s dangling leg with Baz taking his bike back to the pits and retiring from the race. The incident was placed under investigation by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards while Baz was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) retired from the race after bringing his machine into the pits in the closing stages.

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

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)

2. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +1.110s

3. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +1.372s

4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.073s

5. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +3.234s

6. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) +4.251s

7. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +4.617s

8. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +4.792s

9. Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +5.797s

Watch Race 2 from Indonesia at 13:30 Local Time (GMT+8) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!