Bautista prevents a Razgatlioglu hat-trick at Portimao with Race 2 victory
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) has once again extended his championship lead over Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with a Race 2 win at Portimao.
The Ducati rider said he is happy with his performance throughout the final European round of the 2022 season, further extending his lead in his Championship campaign to 56 points over the Turkish rider. Bautista’s Race 2 win also saw out his 28th WorldSBK victory, crossing the line 2.256 ahead of Razgatlioglu.
Alvaro Bautista: “It has been three amazing races with a lot of fighting at the front. Yesterday, I needed the last six laps of the race to get to Toprak and fight for the vicoty. In the Superpole Race, I knew it was maybe difficult to beat Jonathan and Toprak because they were very fast. I was determined, and my plan was to stay with them because I can finish with them, that means I have the chance in the afternoon to fight for the victory. I’m happy because the last laps, even if Toprak tried to overtake me a couple of times, he was struggling more so in the last few laps so he stayed away.”
Although Toprak Razgatlioglu distanced himself from the Championship lead at Portimao, he did manage to extend his lead over Jonathan Rea, with the pair seeing out their own Championship fight for Second.
In absolute class style, Razgatlioglu flew (quite literally) into top spot in the Portimao’s combined free practice and did so in style, with a photo to back it that I am sure will be a talking point for years to come.
Taking flight and lifting off, there was no doubt the reigning World Champion was enjoying his time around the difficult Portimao circuit, claiming his first win in shortened Race 1 since Magny-Cours. In Race 2, Toprak stood on the podium for the 75th time in his WorldSBK career, claiming second place over Rea.
Toprak Razgatlioglu: “In the afternoon, Alvaro improved and came back very strong again. It wasn’t easy to pass him in Race 2, but I kept fighting for the win. In the last three laps, the front tyre started to lock. I said second place was enough. Every lap, I caught him and on the exit of the last corner, he got ahead again on the straight; his bike is very fast. We finished second and we take good points for the Championship.”
Despite being one of the most successful riders around Portimao, Jonathan Rea once again left Round 9 without a win. At a circuit where in the past, Rea has been dominant and the rider to beat, this wasn’t the case in 2022, with a 3-3 finish in Race 1 and 2.
Jonathan Rea: “I’m a little disappointed with the results. I really came here wanting to try to get a race win under my belt but no regrets. I did my best. I got everything out of my ZX10RR. My team worked incredibly well. Race 2 I enjoyed a lot, I was riding on the limit to be there. I got to the front and tried to relax to control the tyre a little bit. But when Alvaro came by, his pace was really fast.”
Rounding out top 5 was a fierce battle between Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who in the early stages of Race 2 was fighting for a podium, and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). The 5th place finish for Lowes also saw him step up a spot in the overall standings, now sitting sixth in the Championship.