The Championship leader led from the start to win Race 2, leading every single racing lap throughout the Catalunya Round
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) romped home to his third win of the Catalunya Round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after claiming Race 2 victory from pole position in the final MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action of the weekend. Bautista had claimed victory in both Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race, and he followed that up with a lights-to-flag win in Race 2 to further extend his Championship lead.
UNSTOPPABLE BAUTISTA: three from three on home soil
Starting from pole position, Bautista once again led the race into Turn 1, before remaining unchallenged as he extended his gap at the front with the Championship leader able to take advantage of the squabbling behind him to claim victory. By the halfway mark of the race, Bautista’s gap had got up to five seconds and he continued to increase that throughout the second half of the race to claim victory by more than eight seconds.
Behind Bautista, the battle for second was taking place between four riders. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) all fought it out for the remaining podium places, with the pair often swapping places. In the end, it was Bautista’s teammate Rinaldi who claimed second place after a thrilling battle, with the crucial move for Rinaldi coming on Lap 11 at Turn 1, when he passed Bassani.
As Rinaldi escaped in second place, Razgatlioglu, Rea and Bassani continued their fight with Rea moving into third place on Lap 14 as he passed both Razgatlioglu and Bassani into Turn 1. Razgatlioglu got ahead of Bassani on Lap 13 after the Italian rider made a mistake at Turn 12, which then allowed Rea to get ahead a lap later. However, on Lap 16, Rea lost a lot of time after running wide at Turn 7 which allowed both Bassani and Razgatlioglu through, although he did re-pass Bassani shortly afterwards, with Razgatlioglu going on to take third place.
The results allowed Bautista to extend his Championship lead to 59 points over Razgatlioglu, a gain of 29 points across the weekend, as he took his first treble since Aragon 2019 and the fourth of his career. He became the first rider to take three wins at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and he is edging closer to 50 podiums; now on 48. Rinaldi took his 14th WorldSBK podium with second place and it is the 135th time Ducati have finished 1-2, while taking their fourth straight win at the Spanish venue. Razgatlioglu’s third place gave him his 72nd podium in WorldSBK.
STRONG RESULTS FROM ROOKIES: three inside the top ten…
Rea, after re-passing Bassani after his mistake, was able to pull out a gap to take fourth place ahead of the Italian who took fifth place. Behind Bassani came a run of three rookies who all had a strong Race 2. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) took sixth place after taking advantage of his Superpole Race result to finish in the top six, ahead of Philipp Oettl (Team Goeleven) in seventh place. Oettl, like Vierge, gained on the grid in the Superpole Race and took advantage to conclude a strong Catalunya Round in seventh place. He was ahead of Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) in eighth place with Lecuona, who took pole in the Tissot Superpole session, taking another top-ten finish.
A LATE CHARGE: Tamburini into the top ten
Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) finished as the lead BMW rider in ninth place, finishing just 0.084s behind Lecuona at the end of the race. The end of the race was highlighted by a charge from Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha Motoxraxing WorldSBK Team) as the Italian rookie surged into the top ten in the closing stages, taking his best WorldSBK result to date. He demoted Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) to 11th with just a couple of laps to go, with Bernardi running inside the top ten throughout the majority of the race; his best result since Race 2 at the Autodrom Most.
COMPLETING THE POINTS: finishing inside the top 15
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was involved in a battle for tenth place but eventually took 12th place, finishing just 0.419s behind Bernardi at the end of the 20-lap battle. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was 13th ahead of fellow BMW rider Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) in 14th and Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) who rounded out the points-paying positions with 15th.
JUST MISSING OUT: the last of the classified riders
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was classified in 16th place 20-lap race. The Italian rider was running inside the top ten but a Turn 10 crash on Lap 4 dropped him down the order after he re-joined the action, with Locatelli having to fight to take 16th place and missing out on a point by 2.6s. Argentinean rider Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) was 17th ahead of Czech rider Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP), the last classified rider in 18th place.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from Race 2
Two riders crashed out of the race on the opening lap with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) going down at Turn 10 and Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) crashing at Turn 14; putting both riders out of the race. Redding was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following his crash, and was declared fit but diagnosed with a chest bruise. On Lap 5, Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) retired from the race following a Turn 10 crash. Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) had enjoyed a strong weekend but, in Race 2, crashed out at Turn 2 on Lap 12. Home rider Oscar Gutierrez (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) brought his Kawasaki machine into the pits to retire from the race.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 2, full results here:
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +8.103s
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +9.090s
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +10.210s
5. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) 15.677s
6. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) +20.230s
Fastest Lap: Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) – 1’42.181s
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 394 points
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 335
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 327
4. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 205
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 173
6. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) 170
Next up, Portimao: watch all the action from WordSBK’s visit to Portugal using the WorldSBK VideoPass!