It would have been impossible to think of a more exciting end to the season. Alvaro Bautista was not content with the riders’ title won in Indonesia and in Australia he gave the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team more extraordinary emotions.
The last Sunday of the 2022 WorldSBK season began with an epic Superpole Race that deserves to be recounted.
A sudden downpour drenches the track just a few minutes before the start. Alvaro Bautista opted for a brave choice: slick tyres on both front and rear. In the first laps the Spanish rider – who started from pole position – lost ground, finding himself in 16th position, almost 10 seconds behind the leader. From the middle of the race, however, the track began to dry out and Bautista’s sensational comeback was completed two laps from the end when he took first position to triumph with a wide margin under the chequered flag.
Then Race-2, held this time in dry conditions. After battling with Lowes, Redding, Razgatlioglu and Rea, on lap six the rider from Talavera took the lead. The duel with Rea was exciting, but with five laps to go the red flag declared the end of the race giving way to celebrations in the garage.
After a not easy Superpole Race, Michael Rinaldi started well in Race-2 recovering several positions to then pass under the chequered flag in seventh position and close the 2022 season in fourth position, obtaining the best result in his career.
P1 Alvaro Bautista
“What can I say: I am really happy to have ended the season like this, giving great satisfaction to the whole Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team. I think the Superpole Race was one of the best victories for me in World Superbike. On the grid, I spoke with Giulio (Nava) and I asked to put the slick on. I had confidence even though after the warm-up lap I had some doubts. I’m too old for these things, I have a wonderful family, maybe next time I’ll think twice. Joking aside, it was a wonderful Sunday. Now we go home but the celebrations are not over. What a season!”
P7 Michael Rinaldi
“I am happy to have finished the season in fourth position even though the last two races were quite difficult. In the end, though, what counts is the fact that we improved our ranking from the previous season. This is my best result in Superbike even though I must admit that expectations were higher. The top three, however, did something exceptional and for this reason, I will work hard in the winter to be ready for the start of next season”.
Starting from second position, in the first five laps, Nicolò Bulega didn’t manage to keep up with the pace of the podium group. From the middle of the race his pace was incisive but not enough to close the gap. The Italian rider closed his first season in the Supersport World Championship aboard the Ducati Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team with 9 podiums.
P4 Nicolò Bulega
“Today we struggled a bit more. We will have to improve next season but we are not so far away. I think the SuperSport championship has grown a lot this year. The level is really high. I am very happy about my first season: we finished with 9 podiums, I had fun, and the feeling with the team is exceptional. I thank everyone because they did a superb job, *considering we started from scratch and we had raced on many tracks I didn’t know See you in 2023”.
- From Ducati Media House