Bautista: "I saw my pace could be a bit faster… the fight with Toprak was so nice!"

Sunday, 12 June 2022 14:31 GMT

The Spanish rider extended his lead at the top of the standings with Race 2 victory after an early-race battle with Toprak Razgatlioglu

After taking Race 1 victory in stunning fashion at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) was in search of his first hat-trick since returned to Ducati on Sunday at the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round. Although he was able to claim Race 2 victory and extend his lead at the top of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship standings, Bautista was denied a hat-trick by Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in the Tissot Superpole Race. Nevertheless, Bautista was able to enjoy a double win for Ducati on the Bologna manufacturer’s home soil as he continues his Championship charge.

After finishing second, behind Razgatlioglu in the Superpole Race, Bautista lined up from the middle of the first row for Race 2 as he looked to add to his win tally for this season. He remained behind Razgatlioglu until Lap 2, when he made his first move at the Curvone corner, before the reigning Champion responded into Turn 14. Bautista tried the same move again on Lap 4 with the same outcome before he was able to make it stick on Lap 7 and, from there, was able to extend his gap to more than seven seconds at the end of the 21-lap race; the second-biggest winning margin of the 2022 season.

Discussing his Race 2 result, Bautista said: “I’m happy because I can be fast but also, I can think on the bike. I can be calm and attack when I have to attack and do my best to not pass over the limit. I’m quite happy. I battled with Jonathan in the beginning and with Toprak and, in that moment, saw my pace could be a bit faster. I tried to get ahead like I did yesterday. It cost me some laps because the fight with Toprak was so nice. I enjoyed it a lot. In the end, I can increase my gap to Toprak and get the victory.”

The results mean Bautista leads the Championship over Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) by 36 points with the six-time Champion in second place in the standings. Razgatlioglu is third in the standings on 141 points, 79 points behind Bautista and 43 points behind Rea. Bautista is the only rider so far in 2022 to score more than 200 points in the Championship.

Explaining his thoughts on the Championship battle as it stands, Bautista said: “I don’t think about the Championship. Three years ago, I think I was more than 60 points in front and then I lost the Championship by more than 150. In this moment, it’s too soon. I try to just be focused on the work that we are doing, enjoy the bike like I am doing and just get the maximum in all conditions. Sometimes, if I can fight for the win, I will fight. If I can fight for fifth, I will fight. The important thing is just to finish the races, get more information, and have more fun riding the bike.”

Watch the 2022 season unfold in style using the WorldSBK VideoPass!