All three races at the Estoril Round decided on the final lap as an epic weekend of action concludes with a second Rea victory
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s visit to the Circuito Estoril concluded in sensational fashion as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed a stunning last-lap victory during the Estoril Round. Rea’s move for the lead came on the last of 21 laps as he ensured all three races were decided on the final lap as he denied Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
DECIDED ON THE FINAL LAP… AGAIN: three out of three for WorldSBK in Estoril
The pair continued the theme of the Estoril Round by battling each other throughout the race but, as in Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race, the winner was only decided on the final lap. Bautista initially moved into the lead on Lap 11 as he went from third to first with one move into Turn 1, with Rea responding into Turn 6 a lap later. Rea’s lead did not last long as Bautista responded and held the lead until the final lap of the race.
Rea put in the fastest lap of the race in the closing stages of the race to close the gap to Bautista before he made his move into Turn 7. Both were sliding out of the corner with Bautista just ahead, before Rea went up the inside of the Spaniard into Turn 9 to make the race-winning overtake. Rea had to push hard through the final corner and he almost lost the bike but was able to get it back under control, with Bautista not close enough to overtake. Despite leading the race at points, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) dropped back from the lead duo to settle for third place.
The Titanic Trio of Bau/Rea/Raz are on fire yet again— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) May 22, 2022
Victory for Rea means he now has 117 WorldSBK victories to his name and 223 podiums, while Kawasaki are now edging closer to the 500-podium milestone; currently sat on 497 after three more podiums this weekend. Second for Bautista means he now has 36 podiums in his WorldSBK career and nine consecutively, while Razgatlioglu has 61 podiums which puts him level with Frankie Chili and James Toseland in WorldSBK.
BOUNCING BACK: strong results inside the top six
After a difficult Friday and Saturday, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was able to haul himself into the podium fight during most of the race, running in third at points, before dropping back to fourth place after running wide at Turn 1 on Lap 14; his joint-best result of the 2022 season so fair. He was ahead of the charging Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in fifth, with the Italian having to defend from Spanish rookie Iker Lecuona (Team HRC). Lecuona, who lost his front mudguard on the Warm Up lap, was just 0.077s behind Locatelli as Lecuona made it a hat-trick of top six finishes at Estoril.
COMPLETING THE TOP TEN: climbing up the order
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) had an eventful race as he moved up the order to claim a top seven finish, finishing around five seconds clear of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in eighth place. Spanish rookie Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) claimed ninth place ahead of Xavi Fores (Team Goeleven); Fores securing three points finishes on his return to WorldSBK after receiving a late call-up to replace the injured Philipp Oettl.
TAKING HOME POINTS: finishing the weekend inside the top 15
Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK – Ducati) had been inside the top ten during the race but dropped back behind Fores in the closing stages of the race but finished as the lead BMW rider in 11th place. He was five seconds ahead of fellow BMW rider Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) while Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed his best result of 2022, finishing ahead of Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) and Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) in 15th; the Sammarinese rider once again putting in a late charge to secure points finish.
TO NOTE: news from WorldSBK Race 2
Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) missed out on points by around three seconds as he finished in 16th place, finishing just over a second clear of Marvin Fritz (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) after the German rider stood in for the injured Roberto Tamburini. MIE Racing Honda Team duo Leandro Mercado and Hafizh Syahrin were 18th and 19th respectively, ahead of Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) who rounded out the classified runners.
Isaac Vinales (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) ended his Estoril Round with a crash on Lap 6 ay Turn 2 after getting caught out by a wet patch on the kerb on the exit of Turn 1. After a crash in the Tissot Superpole Race, Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was declared unfit for Race 2 as he joined Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Tamburini and Oettl on the sidelines.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 2, full results here:
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.194s
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +4.350s
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +7.125s
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +8.232s
6. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) +8.309s
7. Best Independent, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +10.865s
Fastest lap: Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki – 1’36.919s
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 161 points
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 144
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 109
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 84
5. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) 76
6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 60
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