Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista won restarted World Superbike Race One Saturday at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, in Spain.
Riding his Panigale V4 R, Bautista held a 0.9-second lead over his teammate Michael Rinaldi on lap four when the race was red flagged for a crash involving Eric Granado.
The restart lasted for 17 laps, and Bautista pulled away to win by eight seconds. It was the Spaniard’s seventh win of the season, extending his Championship point lead.
Pata Yamaha Prometeon rider Toprak Razgatlioglu stole the runner-up spot from Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea late in the race. Rea placed third.
American Garrett Gerloff finished ninth — and top BMW rider — on his Bonovo Action BMW M 1000 RR.
More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Ninth win of 2023 in Catalunya for Alvaro Bautista
Championship leader Alvaro Bautista extended his lead with his Race 1 win, as he finished
8.864s ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu. He now has 199 points in the standings.
P1 | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
“I’m so happy to win here in Barcelona especially after today’s Superpole. I was fast and had a good feeling with the bike. In the race, it was different as we have to manage the tyre consumption, especially in the first laps. Honestly, I was surprised with the lap time because I was not forcing too much on the tyres, but I saw the time which was quite fast. The feeling with the bike was amazing, and for me that’s the most important. I try to stay focused, to push to the maximum that the tyre allows me to. I’m very happy with the feeling, and to win here in front of my friends and family, and the Spanish fans.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu took second place, claiming his 91st podium and getting Yamaha closer to its 400th podium finish.
Jonathan Rea was third in Race 1, just 0.063s behind Razgatlioglu.
Andrea Locatelli was the best of the rest in fourth place, while Aegerter was fifth meaning there were three Yamaha riders in the top five.
Spanish rider Iker Lecuona completed Race 1’s top six, while his teammate Xavi Vierge was eighth.
WorldSBK Race 1 Report
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s opening race of the Prosecco DOC Catalunya Round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was a dramatic affair as Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed his fourth consecutive win in Barcelona to extend his Championship lead in Race 1, while there was a fierce battle for second with several riders at different points. The race was run over a 17-lap distance following a red flag on Lap 4 of the initial race, with Bautista winning the shortened race by 8.8 seconds.
The race was red flagged on Lap 4 of 20 after an incident on the exit of Turn 11 and the entrance of Turn 12 involving Eric Granado (PETRONAS MIE Racing HONDA Team). The Brazilian rider was conscious and taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. Granado was declared unfit following the crash with concussion and he was transported to hospital for further assessments. The riders took to the grid for the restarted race based on their positions at the last completed time-keeping point for each rider, meaning Bautista took the front row ahead of teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).
The new race was restarted over a 17-lap distance with Bautista able to once again stay ahead from the front while his rivals squabbled behind him. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) moved from fifth to third, and then ahead of Rinaldi into second, before the factory Ducati barged his way through at Turn 3. They were still side by side through Turn 10 and into Turn 11. The pair made contact with Rinaldi retiring from the race and Bassani continuing; the incident was investigated by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards. Bassani was given a Long Lap Penalty for his role in the incident which he took instantly on Lap 6, dropping him from second to fifth.
Bassani’s penalty promoted Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) into second and third place and the pair were battling it out for second place as Bautista pulled out a gap over Rea and Razgatlioglu. Razgatlioglu was consistently putting Rea under pressure but, despite the 2021 Champion looking to make a move into Turn 1, he made the move on the final lap at Turn 1 despite being massively out of shape in the braking zone.
WorldSBK action resumes on Sunday from 09:00 (Local Time) with the Warm-Up, followed by Tissot Superpole Race at 11:00 and Race 2 at 14:00.