WorldSBK Championship Leader Bautista one race closer to the title after successful San Juan weekend
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) is once again leaving the weekend behind him further extending his Championship lead. With wins in both Race 1 and Race 2, and a 2nd in Superpole, Baustista extends his lead out to 82 points ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK).
While reigning World Championship Razgatlioglu put up a strong fight to reel in title points, a costly crash in Race 1 in an attempt to pass Bautista on the opening lap proved costly for the Turkish rider. Now, Bautista has one hand on the trophy with his first chance to win the title next time out at the Pirelli Indonesian Round.
Speaking after Race 2, Alvaro Bautista said: “For sure today [Race 2] was tough. First of all, because it’s the last race of the weekend, and you feel, physically, all the efforts from the weekend but also because today the track was more difficult than yesterday. It was easier to make mistakes. I didn’t start well and lost some positions. But at the same time, it was good because I let the other riders evaluate the situation before me. Then I started to understand how much I could push, and I decided to recover the positions and take the lead because I felt that I could be faster than the others. I took the lead and I saw that Toprak was close to me. I didn’t think about taking points, about the risks… just to do my best. I gave everything, in the end, I could win some advantage and I could manage this until the end. I’m so happy, today my performance was really good.”
It was a weekend of up and downs for our reigning World Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu. Crashing in Race 1 on the opening lap, Razgatlioglu managed to re-join the race to finish in 15th position. Speaking to media after the race, he said
“I’m very angry for this because it was the first lap. I tried to pass Bautista because he had a big advantage down the straight. I tried to come back again, but the handlebar was not on the correct line – I took 1 point, and this is better than nothing.”
Despite taking the Superpole Race win, Razgatlioglu couldn’t match the firing pace of Bautista in Race 2, eventually crossing the line in P2 finishing 3.389s behind the lead.
Toprak Razgatlioglu: “In the second race, I tried my best and kept fighting for the win. I was waiting for Alvaro’s tyre to drop but it didn’t happy, so I kept fighting for second position. I want to thank my team, in the last minutes we changed the plan and decided to use the SCX tyre. The SCX tyre is destroyed but I was feeling much better during the race. We keep fighting for the Championship, and we’ll try our best again in Mandalika.”
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) remained consistent all weekend at San Juan standing on the box in both in Race 1 and Race 2 and the Tissot Superpole Race. After Razgatlioglu’s opening lap blunder in Race 1, this left the door open for Rea to finish comfortably in second, but Motocorsa Racing’s Axel Bassani had different plans and put up a top fight with the six-time World Champion. With Razgatlioglu claiming only 1 point from Race 1, this saw a crucial turning point for Rea as he crossed the line in 2nd to claim 20-points.
Once again Race 2, it was a hard-fought podium finish for Rea, after battling with his team mate Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). It wasn’t until Lap 18, Turn 8 where Rea was able to make a move on Lowes for third place that stuck. Rea now stands in third place in the Championship standings, 98 points behind Bautista and 16 points behind Razgatlioglu.
Jonathan Rea: “I’m disappointed because my bike this morning was incredible, in the Superpole Race. I had good traction, and everything was working. From the get-go in Race 2 this afternoon, I had nothing. As soon as I turned into Turn 2, I felt ‘why is this bike not hooking up?’. I was fighting, a real passenger for most of the race, so we need to analyse exactly what happened because it was strange. I kept going, never gave up, and finally I could arrive on the podium.”
Independent rider Axel Bassani couldn’t back up his podium finish as he would have hoped, instead was slammed with multiple penalties. On Lap 2, Bassani and Loris Baz collided in Turn 12, with the FIM WorldSBK Stewards deeming Bassani at fault. The Italian rider was penalised with a Long Lap Penalty, however for not taking this in time, Bassani was handed a second Long Lap Penalty before he was given a ride through penalty for not taking his first two Long Lap’s on time.
The Pirelli Indonesian Round will take place from the 11th to the 13th November at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit.
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after Race 2 – Round 10)
- Alvaro Bautista [Ducati] 507 points
- Toprak Razgatlioglu [Yamaha] 425 points
- Jonathan Rea [Kawasaki] 409 points
- Michael Ruben Rinaldi [Ducati] 260 points
- Alex Lowes [Kawasaki] 217 points
- Andrew Locatelli [Yamaha] 212 points
- Axel Bassani [Ducati] 206 points
- Iker Lecuona [Honda] 189 points
- Scott Redding [BMW] 172 points
- Xavi Vierge [Honda] 134 points