Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista won World Superbike Race Two Sunday at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, in Spain.
Bautista won the 20-lap race by 8.5 seconds, giving him his eighth victory of the season. In fact, the Spaniard has won every full-length World Superbike race so far in 2023.
Pata Yamaha Prometeon’s Toprak Razgatlioglu was the runner-up, after just holding off Bautista’s teammate Michael Rinaldi by 0.06 second at the finish line.
American Garrett Gerloff finished 10th on his Bonovo Action BMW M 1000 RR.
More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Bautista caps off perfect weekend in Barcelona
The current Championship leader, Alvaro Bautista, won three races of out three in Catalunya. He took the win in Race 2 ahead of teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi. He leaves Barcelona with 236 points and a 69-point advantage over Toprak Razgatlioglu.
P1 | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
“The weekend has been perfect. We won three races and each race was a bit different, especially the Superpole Race. It was a bit scary in the last few laps because it started to rain, but not regularly. It was sometimes raining in the first sector, the next lap in sector three, the next one in four and two… leading the way was quite difficult because you never knew what to expect, the amount of water is on the track, so I was discovering the track every lap. It was the longest three laps of my life! For Race 2, the conditions were similar to Race 1 but maybe the grip was a bit lower because of the rain in the morning. I understood the track and I can keep my pace. I’m really happy especially to win three races here in Spain, in front of all the fans and my family, is always more special.”
Second place goes to Toprak Razgatlioglu who claimed Yamaha’s 400th podium finish. He stands in second place in the standings with 167 points.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi was third, bouncing back after Race 1 DNF. He finished 8.643s behind his teammate.
Alex Lowes was the lead Kawasaki rider in fourth place. Teammate Jonathan Rea took fifth place.
Local hero Xavi Vierge completed Race 2 top six as the lead Honda rider.
P6 | Xavi Vierge | Team HRC
“Unfortunately, Superpole is still our weak point but we are working to try to improve. We grew up a lot during the weekend and we finished we a solid result in Race 2. We made some solid changes on the bike which gave me more feeling with the bike. When you see 10 laps to go, and you see the podium is close, you have something which tells you to give your best. But as soon as I pushed, I felt the tyre dropping and I could do nothing more than try to keep the pace that I had. Finally, Locatelli had a little something more than me. Anyway, I think we made a solid race with sixth position.”
WorldSBK Race 2 Report
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action concluded at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Prosecco DOC Catalunya Round as Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed a Barcelona hat-trick to extend his Championship lead, while Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) pipped Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) on the line to deny Ducati a 1-2 finish in Spain.
Bautista lost out initially as the lights went out but recovered heading into Turn 1 to retake the lead although Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) did briefly take the lead on the opening lap, although it did not last long as Bautista recovered the lead of the race before building out a gap over teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi in second place, with Rinaldi able to build a gap over Razgatlioglu in third in the first half of the race. Rinaldi overtook Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at Turn 1 on Lap 5 to promote himself into second.
It had looked like Rinaldi would finish in second place to lead home a Ducati 1-2, but his final lap was around two seconds slower than Razgatlioglu and the 2021 Champion was able to overtake Rinaldi on the run to the line to take second place and secure Yamaha’s 400th WorldSBK podium, which demoted Rinaldi to third as he ended his Catalunya Round on the podium. As the race progressed, Razgatlioglu was able to pull out a gap over Lowes with the gap over a second by the start of Lap 17, allowing Razgatlioglu to claim his third podium of the weekend.
As the laps ticked down, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who started tenth, closed in on his teammate in the fight for fourth place but Rea was unable to make a move on his teammate. The KRT pair finished in fourth and fifth after Rea battled back from tenth place; he started there as a result of his Tissot Superpole Race crash.
WorldSBK returns for the Pirelli Emilia-Romagne Round at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” from the 2nd to the 4th of June.