It was a dramatic visit to Mandalika for the WorldSBK paddock with titles on the line in both WorldSBK and WorldSSP
As the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship paddock descended on the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit for the Pirelli Indonesian Round, everyone inside the paddock knew how important this round could be to determine where the 2022 Riders’ Championship would end up in both WorldSBK and WorldSSP. They were both decided during the weekend while there was disappointment for one rider, whose 2022 season seems to have come to a premature end.
With one round to go, Indonesia gave match point to Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and the Spanish rider duly delivered to become the first Ducati Champion since 2011, wrapping up the title in Race 2 with second place. He was unable to win in Indonesia with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) taking a hat-trick but he left Mandalika with a 66-point lead over Razgatlioglu, with only 62 points available.
In WorldSSP, Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) wrapped up the Riders’ Championship on Saturday in Race 1 despite equalling his lowest finishing position of the season with fourth place. After a thrilling race, the path to the title was made easier for Aegerter when Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) crashed out at Turn 1 and, although he was okay, retired from the race. It meant Aegerter needed only three points to secure the title which he did with fourth.
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) also had a reason to celebrate as he wrapped up the Best Independent Rider award for 2022 in Sunday’s Tissot Superpole Race. Bassani put himself 98 points clear of Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) with fifth place while Gerloff didn’t score, securing the Best Independent Rider award for this season. Motorcorsa Racing also lead the Best Independent Team standings heading into Australia and will have the chance to secure it next weekend.
The low from Indonesia comes from Iker Lecuona’s (Team HRC) season seemingly coming to a premature end following a crash in Free Practice 2 on Friday. He highsided at Turn 4 and was left with a stable fracture of his T12 vertebra, with no neurological damage, and a fracture to the left side of his sacrum. He returned to the circuit following further checks in hospital to support Team HRC, but has since returned to Spain for medical assessments in his home country.
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