"A really good season… big congratulations to them!" – Razgatlioglu, Rea lead plaudits for Bautista

Sunday, 13 November 2022 06:50 GMT

The previous two Champions of WorldSBK, Razgatlioglu and Rea, heap praise on rival Bautista after he secured the 2022 title

After the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was decided in favour of Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) during Race 2 at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit, title rivals Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) gave their thoughts on the Spaniard’s title success during the Pirelli Indonesian Round. Bautista defeated both six-time Champion Rea and 2021 Champion Razgatlioglu to claim his first WorldSBK title.

Bautista headed into the Indonesian Round knowing he would be able to take the title in Race 1 and, although results means his coronation was delayed until Race 2 on Sunday where a podium finish would be enough to take the title. He finished Race 2 in second place, behind Razgatlioglu and ahead of Rea, to take his first WorldSBK title in style, winning the Championship with a round to spare and become Ducati’s first World Champion since Carlos Checa in 2011.

Razgatlioglu, who won the title in 2021 and relinquished his crown, said: “Congratulations to Bautista and Ducati. It was a really good season because we are fighting almost every race. We lost the Championship, but I tried my best. I won three times, and this is a positive for me. We have a lot of respect. We are fighting but outside the track, we are talking to him like friends. I’m very happy for him to take the Championship this year, and also for him to ride the Ducati many years later. It’s a very good day for him. I remember it for me last year. I saw Alvaro in the gold leathers and I’m looking again because it was like my suit, very similar! Congratulations again, I think today is a Ducati day.”

Six-time Champion Rea, who beat Bautista to the Championship in 2019 when Bautista was a rookie, was full of praise for Bautista. He said: “Today’s about Alvaro and Ducati and the World Championship. Big congratulations to them. They’ve really been the benchmark this year and dominated races and it’s a good reference for us to go into the winter and try to improve. I just hope they can enjoy the moment now. I know that feeling and I’m sure he’s going to be on cloud nine for many days now. He’s had a really good year, been in control and looked at ease with his bike. You’re never happy for someone to beat you, for example, but respect. I know what it feels like; I know how hard you have to work. Respect and congratulations to him. I saw him on the slow down lap. I remember the feeling slightly because when it happens, you’re in your own bubble. I tried to get his attention on the slow down lap to really say congratulations, but he was in his own bubble! I’m guessing he’ll be like that for quite a while. These don’t come cheap so big congratulations.”

Congratulate Bautista on his title success using the hashtag #TheReturn, and watch the season-ending Australian Round using the WorldSBK VideoPass!