WorldSBK Reports: All The Action From Rd3 At Estoril
It was an epic battle at the Circuito Estoril as Alvaro Bautista claimed his fourth win of the 2022 season in Race one. The Tissot Superpole Race and Race two on Sunday saw Jonathan Rea win by under 0.2s. Race Two saw Rea make his 350th start and take his 117th career win. Press Release: WorldSBK.
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship descended on the Circuito Estoril and it was a thriller in Portugal as Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed a stunning victory after an epic scrap between him, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) throughout the race. Bautista secured his first victory at Estoril during the Estoril Round as he extended his Championship lead.
Razgatlioglu got a good start from second on the grid to lead into Turn 1 with Rea in second and it was a precursor of what was to come during the 21-lap race. The pair consistently switched positions throughout the race with Turn 1 the overtaking hotspot between the two with eight overtakes at Turn 1 just between Rea and Razgatlioglu between Lap 6 and Lap 16. There was contact between the two on Lap 3 at Turn 6 with both able to continue, and from there the battle raged on. There were differing tyre strategies on the grid with Rea on Pirelli’s SC0 standard rear tyre and the SC1 development front while Razgatlioglu and Bautista both used the SCX standard rear tyre and SC1 standard front tyre.
With the duo running line astern, the rider in second often used the slipstream to get the run into Turn 1 to move into the lead with the pair swapping positions on multiple laps as they searched for victory in order to close the gap in the Championship standings to Bautista. The pair switched position, at Turn 1, eight times but it was an error on in the closing stages from Rea that allowed Bautista through.
On Lap 16, Bautista was able to take advantage of Rea running wide as he looked to move around the outside of Razgatlioglu, with Bautista moving up to second place and Rea dropping to third place. Rea lost time to the pair leaving Bautista and Razgatlioglu to fight it out. This battle went down to the final run to the line with Bautista just pipping Razgatlioglu by 0.126s after getting a better run off the final Turn 13 corner.
Victory for Bautista puts him on 20 wins for in his WorldSBK career and his fourth win of the 2022 season, extending his Championship lead to 27 points over Rea and 50 to Razgatlioglu. It was also Ducati’s 380th victory in WorldSBK. Razgatlioglu’s second place gave him his 59th podium in WorldSBK and keeps up his 100% podium record at Estoril; the only rider to have this stat. Rea’s third place gave him his 221st podium in WorldSBK and his 179th with Kawasaki.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) claimed fourth place after benefitting from Bautista running wide at Turn 1 on the opening lap, before battling with Bautista for third place. While Bautista was able to pass Locatelli on Lap 5 before Turn 1, using the power of the Ducati, the Italian rider was able to finish in fourth place ahead of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) and teammate Iker Lecuona.
Vierge overtook Lecuona in the closing stages of the 21-lap race to claim his first top five result in WorldSBK, finishing just a tenth ahead of his teammate. The duo battled with Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), running a special yellow livery to celebrate the 50th anniversary of BMW’s M brand, in the early stages of the race before Redding dropped back behind both Honda riders and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK); Lowes finishing seventh and Redding in eighth.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finished ninth after making late-race progress to move inside the top ten, finishing around one second behind his former teammate. He was also a second ahead of Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW), who rounded out the top ten and finished as the Best Independent Rider in Race 1.
After being called up at the last minute to replace the injured Philipp Oettl, Xavi Fores (Team Goeleven) finished in 11th place with a big gap both ahead and behind him, battling his way up from 15th place on the grid. Hr was around three seconds clear of Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in 12th place, while Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) battled up to 13th place, fending off Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) by just half-a-tenth at the line. Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) made it two Independent BMW riders inside the points with 15th place; just a tenth ahead of Marvin Fritz (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) as he substituted for Roberto Tamburini and just missed out on a point.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished in 17th place ahead of Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) in 18th. Hafizh Syahrin (MIE Racing Honda Team) was in 19th place ahead of Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in 20th and Isaac Vinales (TPR Team Pedercini Racing). Vinales brought his Kawasaki ZX-10RR into the pits, and lost two laps, before re-joining the race and being classified in 21st place.
Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) retired from the race on the opening lap of the race after a Turn 7 crash. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) did not race after being declared unfit following their respective crashes throughout the weekend.
WorldSBK Race One Podium (Full Results Here)
1 Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.126s
3 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +4.835s
The Tissot Superpole Race at the Circuito Estoril for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was once again decided on the last lap as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed victory, meaning he now has the longest winning career in WorldSBK, after an error from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) on the final lap.
Rea had made a move on Razgatlioglu on Lap 2 on the exit of Turn 13 before Razgatlioglu responded on Lap 7 of 10 and opening a gap of around eight tenths. However, a last-lap error at Turn 9 where Razgatlioglu lost the front of his bike, but saved it, allowing Rea through. Despite fighting back, Rea was able to hold on to victory ahead of Razgatlioglu to ensure he now has the longest winning WorldSBK career, lasting 12 years, 11 months and one day and exceeding Noriyuki Haga, as well as his 180th podium with Kawasaki. Razgatlioglu’s wait for a win goes on in 2022 but he claimed his 60th WorldSBK podium and Yamaha’s 360th podium placement.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was able to continue his streak of podium finishes in 2022, making it eight out of eight so far this season, with third place as he withstood an early challenge from Iker Lecuona (Team HRC). Lecuona took an alternative tyre strategy, using an intermediate front and slick rear, came home in fourth to start Race 2 from the second row.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), on slick tyres, was able to close in on Lecuona during the closing stages of the race but was unable to make the pass, finishing in fifth place. He will be joined on the second row by Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) after the British rider battled his way to sixth place during the 10-lap race.
The battle for the third row was a dramatic affair, with Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claiming seventh spot after battling but dropping back in the Superpole Race. He will be joined by his former teammate, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) on row three with Rinaldi also opting to use an intermediate front and rear slick. Last-minute stand-in Xavi Fores (Team Goeleven) claimed ninth spot as he battled his way up the order.
At Turn 1 on the opening lap, Lucas Mahias’ (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) crashed out of the race, which forced Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Time) to run wide and lose time and positions. Marvin Fritz (Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Team) crashed out at Turn 6 while Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) crashed out at Turn 7; all on the opening lap. Both Bonovo Action BMW riders crashed out on subsequent laps, with Baz crashing out at Turn 13 on Lap 4 and Laverty at Turn 6 on Lap 5, both when running inside the top nine. Laverty was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash.
Tissot Superpole Race (Full Results Here)
1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.174s
3 Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +4.925s
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).
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) dropped back from the lead duo to settle for third place.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WorldSBK Race Two Podium (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
Championship Standings (Full Standings Here)
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