There were fights up and down the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship grid during Race 2 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round as Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed a stunning win to take a Misano hat-trick wearing a special yellow livery for Ducati, while his teammate, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, crashed out from third place when fighting for the podium.
FIGHTING FOR THE PODIUM: drama during Race 2…
As the lights went out, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) got the holeshot to lead into Turn 1 before Rinaldi battled his way through on his teammate at Turn 4 to move into second. However, it did not take long for Bautista to head to the front of the field as he overtook his teammate and then went through on Razgatlioglu at Turn 8 on Lap 2. From there, he was able to build a gap to Razgatlioglu behind him as the Turkish star found himself under pressure from Rinaldi.
That pressure soon told for Razgatlioglu as the pair battled it out for second place before Rinaldi overtook the 2021 Champion heading into Turn 8 on Lap 3. Despite Rinaldi pulling away, Razgatlioglu started closing the gap but, by the halfway point of the race, Rinaldi had stabilised the gap slightly to around three tenths. On Lap 13, Razgatlioglu again closed the gap on Rinaldi as he looked to take second place from the home hero. Razgatlioglu made his overtake on Rinaldi at Turn 8 on Lap 15 to move into second but Rinaldi kept the pressure on, with the pair making contact at Turn 1 when Rinaldi looked to re-gain second place; Rinaldi’s race ended when he went into the gravel.
Originally a battle for fourth but turning into a podium fight after Rinaldi’s crash, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) went head to head with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Rea got ahead in the early stages before Bassani responded on Lap 3 to move ahead of Rea to claim what turned into third place to claim his first podium on home soil and his first of the 2023 campaign as he pulled out a gap over Rea behind him.
Bautista’s victory gave him his 46th win in WorldSBK and is now on a streak of 10 consecutive wins in WorldSBK, while he also has 14 wins in 15 races this season with his fourth hat-trick of the season. It means he is the first rider to win 14 victories in the first 15 races of the season. Razgatlioglu is now even closer to 100 podiums, with 96 to his name following his Race 2 second place, while it is also Yamaha’s best ever streak of podiums at 15 races. Bassani claimed his fifth podium in WorldSBK, his first since San Juan last year.
FENDING OFF RIVALS: strong fights throughout the field
Rea claimed fourth place after losing touch with Bassani as the race progressed, but he was able to finish more than two seconds clear of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) in fifth place as he enjoyed a strong Emilia-Romagna Round. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) came home in sixth place after fending off Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) in the closing stages of the race to take six, finishing a second behind Vierge and 0.245s clear of Petrucci in seventh after he bounced back from two incidents in the Tissot Superpole Race.
MIXED EMOTIONS: ups and downs
American star Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) claimed eighth place and finished as the top BMW rider in Race 2 after a race-long battle with Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven), with the American coming through on the final lap to take eighth place. Oettl was ninth at the end of the race, only 0.350s down on Gerloff at the end of the 21-lap race, while Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and teammate Dominique Aegerter had a fight for 10th place; the Australian having the better of Aegerter after they were involved in a crash in the Superpole Race.
TAKING HOME POINTS: finishing in the top 15
Aegerter had a nine second advantage over Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) who claimed 12th place despite having to start from the back of the grid. On the sighting lap, Baz had a technical issue with his M1000RR machine, and he was able to bring it back to the pits and, while he was able to start the race, he started from last place. Baz was at the front of a trio of BMW riders with Tom Sykes (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in 13th with the 2013 Champion finishing ahead of teammate Scott Redding in 14th. Redding had been fighting in the top ten in the early stages of the race, but he dropped down the order as the race progressed, finishing 14 seconds behind Sykes. Hafizh Syahrin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) was the final points scorer with 15th place, while Isaac Vinales (TPR by Vinales Racing) was the last classified rider in 16th place.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from Race 2
Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was the first retirement of the race when he had a technical problem at Turn 8 on the opening lap. On Lap 3, Ryo Mizuno (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) ceashed out of the race at Turn 4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was running in the top six during the first third of the race but a Turn 4 crash put him out of the race. Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) retired after a crash at the Turn 1-2 chicane when fighting for a strong points position, while Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) brought his bike into the pits at the end of Lap 19. Gabriele Rui (Bmax Racing) did not race in Race 2.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 2:
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +8.446s
3. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +18.368s
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +20.174s
5. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) +22.344s
6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +23.307s
Fastest Lap: Alvaro Bautista, Ducati – 1’33.936s
1 Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 298 points
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 212
3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 150
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 129
5. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) 126
6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 99
- From WorldSBK.com