Celebrating his deal in style, we’ve put Alvaro Bautista’s six wins from 2022 so far in one place, as a taste of what’s to come in the rest of this year and beyond
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has already been sensational with an incredible number of final lap battles. It’s also marked a return to winning ways for Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), with the Spaniard signing a new contract with Ducati that will see him in the factory team in 2023. To celebrate his new deal, we’ve put together his six wins of 2022 in one place, with plenty more of the following to come in 2023.
After narrowly missing out in the opening race of the year in Race 1, where Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) beat him in a final corner showdown on the last lap, Alvaro Bautista was back to winning ways. Hitting the front and leading from start to finish, leaving Rea to battle with defending World Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). Bautista took the win, with the Spaniard back on top.
It was another wonderful display from the 37-year-old in Race 2, with the Spaniard easing clear after fighting with Rea in the opening lap. Bautista broke clear and put in a superb performance, taking his first full-race victory since San Juan in 2019. If there were any doubts over his comeback to Ducati prior to the season, then they had been banished. Bautista led the Championship for the first time in three years and Ducati knew they had a serious challenge.
Assen’s weekend was a belter for a variety of reasons; the rivalry between Razgatlioglu and Rea and the final lap showdowns of Race 1 and the Superpole Race between Rea and Bautista. In Race 2, when Razgatlioglu and Rea clashed and crashed, Bautista avoided the drama in front of him and despite dropping back to second momentarily behind rookie Iker Lecuona (Team HRC), the #19 got ahead and eased off. Taking victory against the odds but being in the right place at the right time.
It was one of his best wins in WorldSBK. Coming from the second row of the grid, Bautista got up to fourth in the early stages but was stuck behind Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in the opening laps. Once he got through, he got to within two seconds of the frantic battle between Razgatlioglu and Rea. After Rea fell back, Bautista was all over Razgatlioglu and on the final run to the line, blasted ahead. He only led the final metres, but they were the important ones.
As Ducati headed to Misano with Bautista leading the Championship, all eyes were on whether the Spaniard could deliver for the Italian marque at home. The answer was of course, ‘yes’, as he hit the front in the second half of the race after overcoming Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu, the latter of whom retired. Bautista was on the top step in Race 1, delivering the goods, but now the pressure was on whether or not he could repeat the achievement in Race 2.
Answering the question that everyone was asking coming into Sunday afternoon, Bautista was once again unstoppable. After duking it out with an irrepressible Toprak Razgatlioglu once again in the early stages – the two swapping paint all the way through the fast right handers on multiple occasions – Bautista eventually held on to make it a memorable home double for Ducati at Misano in front of a packed partisan crowd. Winning at every circuit so far and with a 36-point lead in the standings, Bautista’s Ducati renewal will look to keep on giving great memories in 2023.
Get all the silly season rumours here whilst enjoying 2022 LIVE with the WorldSBK VideoPass!