An action packed weekend at the Prosecco DOC Donington Park, UK, WorldSBK round saw Rea, Bautista and Razgatlioglu share the top spot, while Danilo Petrucci scored his first WorldSBK podium. Oli Bayliss was injured on Saturday and missed Sunday. Report: WorldSBK

On the first day of the Prosecco DOC UK Round at Donington Park, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) concluded the day as the fastest rider in mixed conditions, as he set the best time in the morning session before intermittent rain affected the proceedings in FP2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK team) finished just 0.012 seconds off the fastest time with his best FP2 lap. Team GoEleven’s Philipp Oettl secured the third-fastest time, leading the Ducati riders. British riders Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team)and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) secured fifth and sixth places respectively. Varying conditions and limited mileage meant that Championship leader Alvaro Bautista finished only eighth in the day’s standings.

For the full Friday results, click here

17 different polesitters throughout the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s history at Donington Park and with two of them on the current grid, we were in for a treat in WorldSBK Superpole. The rain had been dispelled and on track, plenty of riders were looking to excel as the existing lap record was broken and the battle for pole position triggered. As the chequered flag flew in the British breeze, it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who took a first pole of 2023. On hand to present the awards in Parc Ferme was Roger Burnett, the first ever WorldSBK polesitter from Donington Park 35 years ago.

Top three after WorldSBK Superpole (Full Results Here)
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’26.041s
2. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) +0.068s
3. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.164s

Race One
Bautista got the holeshot as the lights went out as he looked to end Ducati’s Donington drought, but his lead did not last long as polesitter Rea took advantage of the Spaniard running wide on the entry to the Foggy Esses on Lap 2 to take the lead. The Ulsterman was able to pull away from Bautista, but the reigning Champion soon found himself under pressure from 2021 Champion Razgatlioglu as the Turk looked to make gains.

Razgatlioglu made his move on Bautista at Turn 11 on Lap 3 before setting his sights on Rea out in front, with the gap coming down as soon as the Yamaha rider got ahead of Bautista. On Lap 6, the Turkish star made his move on Rea at the same corner to move into the lead, but he was unable to pull a gap as they battled it out at the historic venue.

The trio switched positions several times between Lap 6 and Lap 9 with all three taking their turn to lead the race before Bautista made a move on Razgatlioglu on the exit of Coppice to move back into first. Razgatlioglu and Rea both remained in touch with the reigning Champion edging out a small gap. On Lap 11, Bautista posted a new race lap record of 1’26.615s as the gap edged out to just over half-a-second to his rivals.

The Ducati rider’s pace was shown two laps later when he set a 1’26.610s to break his own lap record with the gap up to 1.200s at the start of Lap 15. A lap later, he went a tenth quicker as he showed his consistency. He was the only rider to lap in the 1’26s bracket at this stage of the race with Razgatlioglu and Rea dropping into the 1’27s. While Bautista and Razgatlioglu had their places secured, Rea had to fight Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) for third place. The rookie had been just behind the lead group, but his late-race pace allowed him to pass Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on Lap 16 at the Foggy Esses before chasing down Rea for third although Rea was able to manage the gap throughout the final laps to secure third.

Bautista’s victory means Ducati’s 12-year wait for a Donington victory came to an end as he extended his Championship lead to 91 points ahead of Razgatlioglu. His win also means his winning streak has reached 11 races; equalling the longest set by Rea in 2018 and himself in 2019. Razgatlioglu’s second place puts him on 97 WorldSBK rostrums as he closes in on a century while Rea secured his 250th podium; the first rider to achieve this feat.

Top three WorldSBK Race 1 (Full Results Here)
1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +3.718s
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +6.115s

Superpole Race
Bautista got the holeshot but six-time Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) responded immediately to take the lead at Turn 2. Bautista was soon demoted to third as Razgatlioglu went through at the Old Hairpin to move up the order before the trio battled it out for victory. The Ulsterman tried to stretch his legs and got the gap up to half a second before the 2021 Champion brought the gap back down to just over a tenth at halfway.

The Spaniard remained in touch as he posted several lap records, including a 1’25.896s on Lap 6 to bring the gap across the top three to 0.5s. As the 10-lap encounter progressed, Bautista closed in on his rivals and he made a last-lap pass at Turn 9 to move into second and soon set his sights on Razgatlioglu but, with two corners left, the Turkish star was able to hold on to claim his second win of the season and ended the Championship leader’s winning streak.

Razgatlioglu’s victory means he ends Bautista’s run at 11 races with the Spaniard unable to break the all-time run, while Razgatlioglu took his 34th career win. It is the first time Bautista has finished a race and not won in 2023, while Rea moved on to 251 WorldSBK podiums and he also took Kawasaki’s 530th rostrum in the World Championship. The trio will start alongside each other on the front row in Race 2. It was also the closest podium finish of the season.

Top three Tissot Superpole Race (Full Results Here)
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
2. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) +0.315s
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) `0.537s

Race Two
The race was red flagged on the opening lap following a crash involving Tom Sykes (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) and Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) on the exit of Coppice. All riders were conscious following the crash. The race was restarted over a 22-lap distance, one shorter than the original distance, although it did not feature the three riders involved. The new race grid was based on the Tissot Superpole Race results. Sykes was diagnosed with a thoracic injury, rib fractures on his right-hand side and a left ankle injury; he was transported to Queen’s Medical Centre for further assessment. Rinaldi was diagnosed with a mild concussion and a right ankle injury.

As the lights went out for the new race, Bautista got the holeshot to take the lead before rival Rea attempted a move to first at Turn 4. At the Old Hairpin, he was able to pass Razgatlioglu but ran wide when overtaking the Championship leader and stayed second. However, in the same lap, Razgatlioglu made his move on Rea at Turn 11 to re-claim P2. A lap later and there was a thrilling fight as Razgatlioglu stood Bautista up at Turn 11 which allowed the six-time Champion through to demote the reigning Champion to third.

On Lap 7, Bautista made a small error at Turn 7 when he ran wide but he was able to recover without losing position and his pace allowed him to close back in on the leading duo by the end of the lap. The Spaniard ran wide a couple more times, but he soon promoted himself to second when he overtook his rival at Turn 9 on Lap 10. Rea’s pace dropped into the 1’27s while the top two remained in the 1’26s, allowing them to pull a gap over the Ulsterman.

The battle between the last two Champions reached a crescendo on Laps 13 and 14 as the duo switched positions on several occasions. Bautista had tried to move ahead on Lap 12, but the move came at Turn 1 the next lap before Razgatlioglu responded at Turn 4. Bautista repeated the Turn 1 move a lap later but was able to create a gap and resist Razgatlioglu’s pressure to claim his second victory at Donington with the Turkish star in second.

Bautista’s win means he is now only one shy of record victories in a season with 16 in 2023, with the all-time record standing at 17. He has also gone level with Colin Edwards and Marco Melandri with 75 podiums. Razgatlioglu is closing in on a century of podiums and now has 99, putting him level with Chaz Davies.

With Rea dropping back from the lead pair, the battle for the podium heated up. Rea was initially under pressure from teammate Alex Lowes but, as the race progressed, other riders were joining the party. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) started from the second row but his pace, like in Race 1, allowed him to fight for the podium as he did in Race 1. He moved into fifth place by passing Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) on Lap 15 at Turn 11 before moving into fourth by overtaking Lowes at Turn 9 two laps later. The Italian rookie’s crucial move for the podium came on Lap 18 when he overtook Rea at Turn 4 before he pulled a gap to take his maiden WorldSBK rostrum and Barni Ducati’s first since Argentina 2018. He also became the 129th different rider to stand on the podium.

Top three WorldSBK Race 2 (Full Results Here)
1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +2.650s
3. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +7.936

The rain fell at Donington Park in the FIM Supersport World Championship on Friday afternoon to cause shocks and surprises, with Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) leading Thai star Anupab Sarmoon (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) in the wet conditions. In the combined classification, it was Navarro’s teammate, Stefano Manzi, who led the way by just 0.015s as the Prosecco DOC UK Round shapes up to be an unpredictable and classic battle.

For the Full Friday World Supersport results Click Here

Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) claimed a stunning pole position as he smashed the FIM Supersport World Championship lap record at Donington Park after lapping two tenths quicker than his nearest rival. He will be joined on the front row by title rival by Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) as he took third to set up both races at the Prosecco DOC UK Round in perfect fashion, with Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) sandwiched between the duo on the front row. Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing) had been showing strong pace throughout the weekend but his Superpole came to an end after a highside on the exit of Turn 12. He was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash and declared unfit with a left shoulder contusion.

Top three qualifying (Full Results Here)
1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) 1’29.323s
2. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.209s
3. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.559s

Race One
Championship leader Bulega started from pole position and kept the lead from the start ahead of Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) and Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha). While the duo kept the pressure on in the early stages of the race, the Ducati rider was able to lap in the 1’29s to smash the race lap record and pull out a gap of two seconds on Manzi, in second, after six laps. The Ten Kate Racing rider moved into second after he passed Montella at Turn 11 on the opening lap.

On Lap 6, Manzi was able to pull the gap down as he lapped in the 1’29s while Bulega slowed into the 1’30s but they were soon both lapping in 1’29s with just a tenth separating their race pace in the first part of the encounter. However, as the second half got underway, Bulega was able to stretch his legs again and he pulled out a gap of almost three seconds at the end of Lap 11. The gap was maintained at round three seconds over the next few laps as Bulega extended his Championship lead by five points over Manzi with victory. Although the gap reduced in the closing stages, Bulega held on to win by 1.2s.

The battle for third featured two Italian riders as Montella and Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) fought it out for a podium. Montella, who started from the middle of the first row, dropped out of the top three when ‘Carica’ overtook him at Turn 11 on Lap 6 before the one-time winner was able to respond. From there, he was able to pull out a gap of more than two seconds on his rival to secure his first podium of the year and his second in WorldSSP.

Bulega’s seventh win puts him level with Andrew Pitt, Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher at 11th place in the all-time winners’ list, while it was also his 18th podium; half of which have come in 2023. Manzi is now on a run of four consecutive podium finishes and has seven in total in World Supersport while Montella claimed his second rostrum.

Top three WorldSSP Race 1 (Full Results Here)
1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team)
2. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +1.231s
3. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) +6.615s

Race Two
The fight for victory was between a trio of Italian riders in the opening stages. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) surged into the lead as the lights went out as he looked to go one better than his Race 1 second place, but he soon found himself demoted to P2 as Championship leader Bulega battled his way into the lead with a move at Turn 9 on the opening lap. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) forced his way into second place on Lap 2 as he lunged Montella at Turn 11, but he soon fell down the order.

A crash at Turn 11 on Lap 5 dropped him to tenth place but he soon fought his way back up. On Lap 7, he passed Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) and Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) at Turn 1 aggressively to move into seventh, before overtaking home hero Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) at Turn 11 on the same lap. On Lap 9, the FIM Stewards gave the Italian a Long Lap Penalty for irresponsible riding after he forced Mahias onto the grass on the exit of Turn 1, which he took a lap later before fighting his way back.

With the Yamaha rider dropping out of contention, Bulega was able to pull away from the chasing group with Montella and Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team). The #11 was posting lap record pace throughout the race with a best of 1’29.018s on Lap 4 as he extended his Championship lead over Manzi. Montella finished two seconds down on his compatriot but he fended off ‘Carica’ to claim his second consecutive second place finish with Caricasulo securing third place. Montella’s pace was so strong that he set his best lap on the final to make sure the #64 was unable to challenge.

Ducati secured their first podium lockout in WorldSSP while it was the fifth all-Italian podium of 2023. Bulega’s victory gave him his eighth World Supersport win to put him level with Sam Lowes in the all-time list. Montella’s rostrum gave him his third in the Championship and consecutive podium finishes for the first time, while Caricasulo moved up to fifth in the all-time list, level with Broc Parkes, with his 32nd rostrum.

The top six from WorldSSP Race 2 (Full Results Here)
1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team)
2. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) +2.119s
3. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +3.629s

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