WorldSBK has erupted for the new season, so to make your life easier, here’s all the unmissable content before the next instalment of action…
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has burst into life and after two rounds, there’s some major talking points. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) leads the way in the standings upon his return to Ducati, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) clashing at Assen and Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) being a revelation of the season so far, here’s the best content from the first two rounds so far.
As the grid previewed the year and the “golden era” WorldSBK is in, Round 1 was always going to be special. The first showdown of the year didn’t take long as we were treated to a classic season-opener in Race 1, with Alvaro Bautista and Jonathan Rea going head-to-head. Into the last lap, Rea looked like he had it won, but Bautista laid it all down, putting himself in a position to pass into Turn 16 at the end of the backstraight. However, he ran wide, and Rea carved back under him, taking victory, the pairs closest finish. The Superpole Race saw Bautista back to winning ways, whilst Race 2 welcomed a home double. There were plenty of fallout and even apologies in the hot headlines that followed, whilst you can enjoy the unfiltered video too. Relive the opening round in style here.
The first round was also titanic in World Supersport with what was arguably the best save ever seen coming in Race 1. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) defended from Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) into the final corners on the final lap, but lost the front and had effectively crashed, but hit Aegerter, meaning he stayed on two wheels to take a maiden victory. WorldSSP300 saw 2017 Champion Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) take victory, whilst Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) won in Race 2, his first in the class.
Assen has historically always been Jonathan Rea’s territory and he was looking the favourite to make it a triple too, the same venue he achieved his last one. However, Race 2 was explosive, with Razgatlioglu and Rea’s rivalry hitting new heights as the pair clashed and crashed, whilst Iker Lecuona took advantage and led a race for the first time in his WorldSBK career. Alvaro Bautista eventually took the lead and the victory ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), who took a career-best second, with Lecuona third. The hot headlines had all the fallout and drama whilst the unfiltered saw Bautista give his verdict in conversation with Razgatlioglu, as well as an emotional Iker Lecuona in parc ferme and his media debriefs. Relive all the drama here, whilst also getting the images of the Razgatlioglu and Rea’s clash here.
Meanwhile, in the WorldSSP class, it was a fine home display from the Ten Kate Racing Yamaha team as Dominique Aegerter took them to victory in Race 1 and Race 2, making it 20 years of winning at home for the Dutch team, as well as two consecutive years of doing the double. He headed off Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) in Race 1, whilst Race 2 saw title rival Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) in second. In WorldSSP300, it was the closest finish ever seen in the WorldSBK paddock with Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina WorldSSP300 Team) pipping Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) by just 0.002s. Get the top ten closest finishes across all classes in WorldSBK here, in preparation for the potentially closer finishes in the remainder of 2022.
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