Bautista completes Spanish hat-trick as he leads Ducati 1-2
The Championship leader took a dominant Race 2 victory to extend his advantage in the standings
Race 2 highlights – WorldSBK
P1 – Alvaro Bautista (Abuba.it Racing – Ducati)
Bautista completed a hat-trick with Race 2 victory as he became the first WorldSBK rider with three wins in Barcelona.
He finished the race with a 8.103s gap over his teammate Rinaldi.
He extended his Championship lead to 59 points over Razgatlioglu.
It was his first hat-trick since 2019
“It seems like an easy weekend but, in reality, there was nothing easy. I’m so happy to have won three races here, especially because I think the competition is so high and even more difficult than three years ago. Saturday and Sunday, in the long race, I tried to manage the tyres and keep the pace. I felt quite comfortable. Honestly, for the Superpole Race, we were missing something so, today, in the Warm Up we tried something different on the electronics to help me use the tyre more and not worry about consumption. We tried, I liked it, so I used, and it definitely helped me a lot because it gave me a hand to use the tyre more. I could be fast in the Superpole Race and fight for the win. For sure, it was closer than the other races but also, I expected more fighting, more battling for the victory.
In the end, I don’t like to think about the Championship. I didn’t think about it at the beginning and I don’t think about it now. For me, the important thing is that I’m enjoying the bike a lot. I’m enjoying every practice, every single lap, every single race. Let’s keep this mentality and see what happens at the end. I’m just trying to enjoy the moment, celebrate the victory, to reset when things come back and just race and enjoy.”
P2 – Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
Rinaldi finished in second place ahead of Razgatlioglu, making it a Ducati 1-2 and claiming his 14th podium.
He remains in fourth overall with a 32-point advantage over Locatelli.
“We knew yesterday that our expectation was the podium. But unfortunately, I made a mistake in qualifying and I started tenth. Then the race was a bit compromised, but the speed was there. The strategy in the Superpole Race was to start Race 2 in the first two rows and I did it. Today, I really enjoyed the race because I started well. But Jonny and Axel pushed really hard during the whole race. I had to battle really hard but at the same time manage the tyre because we knew what happened yesterday. I did it and I’m really happy because I had a good pace. I didn’t have the pace of Alvaro but in the end I’m really happy about this second place because it’s the second in a row.”
P3 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
Razgatlioglu completed the top three for his 72nd podium.
He remains second in the standings and eight points adrift from Rea.
“For me, it was a very difficult weekend. In Race 1, we started very well but we finished in fifth place because we were eating the rear tyre. Today, my plan was just follow Jonny and Bassani and Rinaldi, because I know Alvaro is very fast. Today, I wanted to keep the rear tyre because I understood that first position was not possible in this race. I focused on second and third position. I am very happy that we’re back on the podium.
I am not focused on the Championship, I am just looking race by race. Portimao is a very good track for me and also Jonny is very strong, Alvaro is very strong. We are fighting again. Argentina will be a little bit difficult because of the very long straight, which is better for the Ducati, but I will keep fighting. I love Indonesia, and I think we are fighting for the win in Indonesia. Australia, I don’t know! We have many races and the Championship is not finished.”
P4 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Rea was battling for a podium place but ran wide at Turn 7 on Lap 16. After his mistake he was able to pass Bassani to take fourth.
He stands in third place in the standings with 327 points.
“The race was under control compared to our expectations until six laps to go. I was just behind Rinaldi, starting to plot how the end of the race would play out and I went into seven, found neutral but I was coming from fourth to third to second. I couldn’t stop the bike. It was all I could do… because I had no engine brake it was to stay upright. The front was jumping… anyway I stayed on the track. Rammed it back into gear… Axel came past but I made quick work of him. I focused on Toprak just to fight until the end. My rhythm was good in the end, but I just ran out of lap so. If you had given me that result at the beginning of the week, I’d probably have accepted it because it’s a really though track for us but after seeing our pace yesterday, understanding how the start of the race was, I felt like we left a little bit out there. But equally satisfied with our position. We had nothing for Alvaro this weekend. He was incredible, on a different level. But I felt like we got a lot from our bike, we even improved the settings of the bike at a circuit that is very difficult for us but we’ve still been able to fight.”
P5 – Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing)
Starting from 13th on the grid, Bassani was fighting for a podium place until Rinaldi and Toprak escaped. He then dropped to finish in sixth place.
“Really good Race 2. I tried to come back from 13th position. It was difficult but we arrived in second place. I tried to maintain second place but in the first half of the race, I finished the front tyre. I just tried to cross the finish line. We arrived fifth, this is really good for the Championship. It was a really difficult weekend for me, but we finish with a good result and we go to Portimao with good moral.”
P6 – Xavi Vierge (Team HRC)
Vierge completed the top six in Race 2 after taking advantage of his Superpole Race result.
“Finally, it has been a really positive weekend, especially on Sunday. We learned a lot. Yesterday was a tricky day. We had a good Superpole but then in the race the temperature dropped a lot. We decided to go with another tyre and I felt so bad with it in the race, I was struggling a lot and I had zero grip. We learned a lot from yesterday, we worked a lot on the electronic side and today with the temperature we were able to choose the tyre that works for us. And we could make a really good Superpole Race and Race 2.”
Two riders crashed out of the race on the opening lap with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) going down at Turn 10 and Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) crashing at Turn 14; putting both riders out of the race. Redding was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following his crash and was declared fit but diagnosed with a chest bruise.
The Pirelli Portuguese Round will take place from the 7th to the 9th of October at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Amazing one-two in Race 2 at Barcelona. Bautista wins, making it the perfect weekend. A stunning second place for Michael Rinaldi
A triumphant day for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team at the Montmelò circuit in Barcelona. Alvaro Bautista and Michael Rinaldi are the absolute protagonists of Race-2, finishing first and second respectively.
Bautista completes the perfect weekend after winning Race-1 and the Superpole Race. In Race-2 the Spanish rider’s domination is absolute: first from the start to the chequered flag with a lead that reaches even 10 seconds.
An amazing race for Rinaldi , too. Starting from fifth position, at the first corner, he is already second. First he fights with Rea (Kawasaki), then with Bassani (Ducati) and he eventually defends himself brilliantly from the attack of Razgatlioglu (Yamaha): he secures the second place celebrating at parc ferme with his team-mate and the whole team.
P1 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“I am really super happy. It was a beautiful weekend but don’t think it was easy. It’s true, we won all the races, even by a margin, but only because the work we did with the team was really good. I am happy to have given my family, my friends and the many fans who came to Barcelona some good emotions. The season, however, is still long. We have to stay focused”.
P2 – Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“The feeling and the sensations were good. I knew it would be important to do a good Superpole Race, in order to start from the front or the second row. I made a good start and in the first few laps, even though the competition was fierce, I still tried to manage the tyres. I was consistent and in the end, the strategy proved to be the right one. I am very happy, it is really a good moment but we cannot be satisfied. We still have to improve.”
It was a very difficult weekend for Nicolò Bulega and the Ducati Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team. After Saturday’s crash, in Race 2 the Italian rider never found the conditions to be able to push with confidence and after a good start he was forced, lap after lap, to lose many positions to finish in P14
P14 – Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“I am very disappointed. I never found a feeling with the bike. If I have to be honest I can’t define a single factor for this bad result. I honestly couldn’t ride. Of course, we will have to understand what happened to make sure that a situation like this does not happen again in the next races”.
SUPERPOLE RACE PODIUMS FOR REA AND LOWES
Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes each scored a podium in the ten-lap Superpole Race at Barcelona-Catalunya, with Rea then fourth in the 20-lap Race Two and Lowes an early faller.
The intense Superpole ‘sprint’ race, which is a traditional Sunday morning feature at all WorldSBK races, presented the Barcelona-based KRT squad with two home podium successes. Lowes and Rea chased eventual race winner Alvaro Bautista all the way to the flag in dry track conditions. Rea would finally get past Lowes to take second place, with Alex taking his first podium finish since his home round at Donington Park.
In Race Two, held in the warmest conditions of the weekend, Rea would end up fourth after fighting for the podium positions for much of the race. Only a late off-track excursion when he found a false neutral prevented Jonathan from being close enough to make a final push for the top three places once again.
Rea leaves Catalunya in third place overall in the championship, with a weekend record of 2-2-4 in terms of final race results.
Lowes was in sparkling form in the early laps of the Superpole race, as he was the closest rider to runaway leader Alvaro Bautista. He only lost second place to Rea later in the ten-lap race.
Lowes was unlucky to fall on lap one of the final Race Two, losing the front with a full fuel load onboard.
As it stands, with four WorldSBK rounds and 12 individual races left to run in 2022, triple Catalunya race winner Alvaro Bautista leads the points table with a total of 394. Toprak Razgatlioglu has 335 points and Jonathan 327. Alex is seventh overall, on 161 points.
KRT will make a very short test at Catalunya on Monday 26 September, and then another full day at Motorland Aragon on Wednesday 28 September.
The next competitive WorldSBK round will take place in Portugal, at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, between 7-9 October.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “It was nice to be back on the podium this morning in the Superpole Race, especially at the team’s home track. But, it was a shame to end the weekend with a fall. I got swallowed up off the start. It was a good start but we lost a bit on acceleration so I got passed by a few guys. I managed to make some good moves in the first part of the lap and got in behind Toprak. As the bike was sliding it came back into line with a full fuel tank, it just pushed the front a little bit. I had gone for the hard front tyre compared to what I used this morning and it didn’t have enough grip. It just caught me out. I don’t think we had the pace for the podium in the long race but I think we have made some improvements on the bike from yesterday, so that would have been interesting to see if we could have kept the used tyres going a bit more. I am not going to let that second race take away from anything because this is a tough track for me, a tough track for the bike in some ways, and I have been so happy with my speed and feeling from the bike. Big thanks to the team because they have been busy all week with extra stuff to do. So, it was nice to get a good result in qualifying and a good result this morning in the Superpole Race.”
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “It was nice to be back on the podium this morning in the Superpole Race, especially at the team’s home track. But, it was a shame to end the weekend with a fall. I got swallowed up off the start. It was a good start but we lose a bit on acceleration so I got passed by a few guys. I managed to make some good moves in the first part of the lap and got in behind Toprak. As the bike was sliding it came back into line with a full fuel tank, it just pushed the front a little bit. I had gone for the hard front tyre compared to what I used this morning and it didn’t have enough grip. It just caught me out. I don’t think we had the pace for the podium in the long race but I think we have made some improvements on the bike from yesterday, so that would have been interesting to see if we could have kept the used tyres going a bit more. I am not going to let that second race take away from anything because this is a tough track for me, a tough track for the bike in some ways, and I have been so happy with my speed and feeling from the bike. Big thanks to the team because they have been busy all week with extra stuff to do. So, it was nice to get a good result in qualifying and a good result this morning in the Superpole Race.”
Challenging weekend for BMW Motorrad Motorsport at Barcelona.
Loris Baz is the most consistent BMW rider at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with one eleventh place and two ninth-place finishes.
Eighth place for Scott Redding in the Superpole race, but he takes a tumble in both main races.
Eugene Laverty returns to the top ten; Michael van der Mark in the points in race two.
Barcelona. After three consecutive podium weekends, the eighth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Barcelona (ESP) proved to be more difficult for BMW Motorrad Motorsport. The most consistent BMW rider was Loris Baz (FRA) from the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team. In the three races, he secured one eleventh-place and two ninth-place finishes with his BMW M 1000 RR. His team-mate Eugene Laverty (IRL) returned to the top ten in race one. Scott Redding (GBR) from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team finished eighth in the Superpole race to record the best BMW race result of the weekend, only to take a tumble in both main races. His team-mate Michael van der Mark (NED) endured a similarly challenging weekend with technical problems and a fall too, before he scored points for finishing 13th in race two.
All four BMW riders struggled in Superpole qualification on Saturday morning. Redding qualified 13th, with Baz 14th, Laverty 16th and van der Mark in 19th position. In race one on Saturday afternoon, both Bonovo action BMW Racing Team riders went on the hunt for a top ten finish. Laverty passed Baz on the penultimate corner to finish tenth, equalling his previous best result of the season. Baz crossed the line right behind him in eleventh place. Race one did not go according to plan for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team as Redding fell and van der Mark retired with a technical issue.
The weekend continued with the Superpole race on Sunday morning, which determined the top nine grid positions for race two. Redding and Baz produced some great racing as Redding finished eighth and Baz secured the crucial ninth position. Laverty was 14th, while van der Mark suffered more bad luck, forced to return the bike to the pits early after a fall. Baz was ninth in the second main race on Sunday afternoon, recording another top ten finish for the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team. Van der Mark finished 13th to round off a difficult weekend in the points, followed closely by Laverty in 14th place. Redding fell at the start of the race, but was able to soon return to the pits after being examined in the medical centre.
Round nine of the WorldSBK season will take place in two weeks (7th to 9th October) at Portimão (POR).
Quotes after the Barcelona races.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “It was a very mixed weekend for us with a few retirements, some of which came about as a result of falls. We were definitely unable to meet our own expectations. Scott fell twice in the main races. He had a relatively good Superpole race which made us a bit more optimistic. If you look at his times, the top eight would have been possible for him in race two. Michael also had a very difficult weekend with a defect in the first race and a fall in the Superpole race. That made it difficult to work on the setup and achieve more in race two. We’ll analyse it now and see what insights we can gain. The Bonovo action BMW Racing Team overcame the challenges here well. The objective for the team this season is reaching the top ten, and they achieved that in all three races. However, the gap to the leaders is too large for everyone and we have to work on that. At Portimão, we will be right back where we belong.
Our race weekend was overshadowed by Friday’s news that BMW rider Leon Langstädtler died in an accident during the IDM practice session at Hockenheim. The whole BMW Motorrad Motorsport family is devastated by what has happened. I would like to express our sincerest condolences to the Langstädtler family, Leon’s friends and team, and everyone who was close to him. Our thoughts are with them at this time.”
Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 14 / R01: 11 / SP Race: 9/ R02: 9): “It was a tough weekend for us. We had some small issues. I had a good Superpole race, a big fight with Gerloff and Scott (Redding); it was really nice. We improved the start position for race two, which was good. We’ve just tried to use the information we gathered yesterday, not to use too much of the tyre. I was not too far behind the Honda and I saved the tyre just to make sure to have some good last laps. Unfortunately, five laps to the end, I had a problem with my rear brake that locked for two laps, so I almost pit in, but then it just unlocked by itself and I managed to pick up the pace again. It wasn’t easy. I’m a bit disappointed, because I finished only one-tenth behind two guys and lost five seconds in those two laps, but it’s like this. We finished three races and collected a lot of data in a track that is very difficult for us. Portimão will for sure be better.”
Eugene Laverty, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 16 / R01: 10 / SP Race: 14 / R02: 14): “P14 today was a disappointing end compared to yesterday’s top ten finish because it was clear that in the long race yesterday, I was able to come forward in the last five laps. Today, in the beginning I tried to push a little bit more because I lost so much in the first laps yesterday, but I think I damaged the tyre a little bit more. While I was still strong during the last laps, I didn’t quite have the rhythm I had yesterday. It could have been another top ten again, but unfortunately, that was all I had to give. Overall, we scored some points and our pace was better than recently, which gives us reason for optimism for the final part of the season.”
Scott Redding, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 13 / R01: DNF / SP Race: 8 / R02: DNF): “Today was a little bit better than yesterday when I struggled a lot. We’ve made some changes on the bike overnight and the Superpole race was better for us. We were fighting for sixth position but ended up eighth. Then in the main race in the afternoon, we had to go for the harder option front tyre which I crashed also on yesterday. We put on that tyre again because of the temperatures and we think it was the right way to go. Then I crashed again on the first lap. Overall, I’m okay, a little bit sore on the knee, so I will be fit for the next race, but I’m a little bit disappointed with our performance this weekend but you’ve got to take the bad with the good.”
Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 19 / R01: DNF / SP Race: DNF / R02: 13): “It has been a tough weekend. We’ve had too many issues with the bike and also this morning I had a small crash in the Superpole race. But to be fair, I felt really good and strong in that race. I had to serve a long lap penalty. I did it and had a good pace but unfortunately at T7 I got sucked in and I just had to run off the track and crashed. That was a shame because in the Superpole race, I had a good feeling and a good pace. For race two, we knew the race would be long for the tyres so I saved the rear tyre a bit in the beginning, but from the start I didn’t have a good feeling with the front so I couldn’t push as I did this morning. It was a long race, we knew there was a big drop coming, but unfortunately at the end I had such a big drop that I got passed by two other riders. Not easy, not where I want to be but on the other hand I am happy to do a full race distance because this is what I need.”
RazgatlıoGlu and Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Return to the Podium in Barcelona
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu returned to the podium in Race 2 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today, as the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team fought back from a challenging weekend at the eighth round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship in Spain.
After losing out on a podium yesterday due to severe tyre degradation, Razgatlıoğlu and his crew shifted gears in terms of their approach to today’s feature-length Race 2. In contrast to the start-to-finish battles that have defined WorldSBK’s “We Make Excitement” identity, Razgatlıoğlu was forced to keep a cool head to conserve his rear tyre and put his #1 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK back “on the box”, biding his time by following rivals Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), Axel Bassani (Motocorsa) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati) for most of the race. The Turkish ace leaves the Catalan Round with progressive results of P5-4-3 and crucial points to retain second position in the Riders’ Championship.
It was a day to forget for teammate Andrea Locatelli, who was unable to convert his excellent fourth-place qualifying into good results today. He was taken out of contention on the opening lap of the Superpole Race by a crashing Iker Lecuona (Honda), and lost the front of his #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK into the same corner while pushing to stay with the front group during the fourth lap of Race 2 this afternoon.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK is aiming for a winning comeback in Portugal in just another fortnight at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (Portimão) with the race weekend kicking off on Friday, 7 October.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P4 / Race 2: P3
“Overall a really difficult weekend. Yesterday we started very good but finished the race P5 because we are eating the rear tyre too much… I tried to race with Alvaro, this is normal, but this lap-time was too much for the tyre life. Today, my plan was just to follow Johnny, Bassani and Rinaldi, because I know we cannot race Alvaro here, I remember from yesterday! I just keep the rear tyre because I understand first position is not possible this race and I focus on trying for the podium. I am happy because again we are there. Not a normal weekend for us, but anyway, we take good points and keep P2 in the championship. In Portimão I think we are fighting for the win again but we will see, we have many races left and I want to win as many as possible!”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P21 / Race 2: P16
“Another difficult day for us, I start well immediately in Race 2 and was in a good position on the fourth lap, in P6 or P7. But we were unlucky because in Turn 10, unfortunately I lose the front. It was a shame, because when I restarted, the feeling on the bike was not so bad, plus the rhythm was good. We see now on the data that maybe we could have fought for fifth position and it could have been a nice result. In the end, it was a difficult weekend but also some positive points because we were fast, and this is a good improvement. But, it was a bit unlucky here in Barcelona and now we look forward for Portimão to try to push immediately. The most important point this weekend was to return to being fast and we confirmed this, we will continue working and see for the next race.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“We expected this event to be the most challenging of the season and we weren’t wrong! That said, the improvements made by the team today and in particular, Toprak’s very careful approach to Race 2 this afternoon, finally netted him and his R1 a well-deserved podium and meant that he maintained second position in the championship. For Loka, it was a case of what might have been. He’s had really good speed and pace all weekend but was unfortunately taken out of the opening lap of the Superpole Race from fourth position – which can happen in racing but is very disappointing – and lost the front on his own at the same corner while pushing to go with the front group in Race 2 this afternoon. There were minimum two top six results on the table for Andrea today and it didn’t happen. We will move forward to Portimão, and look to maximise our potential with both riders there – there is a lot of racing still to do this year!”
Race results fail to reflect the Team HRC riders’ potential at Barcelona
Round eight of the Superbike World Championship has now drawn to a close at Barcelona in Spain, with Team HRC finishing sixth and eighth in the day’s second and final Superbike race with riders Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona. After scoring a fantastic pole position with Lecuona yesterday, Team HRC has demonstrated that the speed is clearly there, but that there is still margin of improvement in terms of general consistency over race distance.
Having qualified in first place in yesterday’s Superpole, Lecuona lined up on the front row of the grid for the morning’s ten-lap Superpole race but unfortunately his race soon came to an end, a crash ruling him out before the conclusion of the opening lap. Ninth on the starting grid, Vierge was up into seventh by lap two, battling with Bassani and Oettl for sixth. Able to pass his two rivals and move into sixth on lap three, Xavi then held that position until lap six when he and Oettl once again exchanged positions. Vierge ultimately crossed the line in seventh place.
The second of the day’s races saw Vierge and Lecuona start seventh and tenth respectively, based on their results in the earlier sprint race. Lying fifth and eighth one lap into the race, they lapped with very similar times to each other throughout the first half of the race. Having settled into sixth (Xavi) and seventh (Iker) place early on, the Spanish duo maintained their pace but were unable to improve their final positions. Vierge and Lecuona therefore crossed the line sixth and eighth respectively.
The points scored over the course of the weekend have helped boost Lecuona’s tally to 158 points, the rider lying eighth ahead of Vierge, tenth with 99 points. The next WorldSBK round will see Team HRC compete at Portimão in Portugal over the weekend of 7-9 October.
Xavi Vierge 97
SPRC P7 RC2 P6
“In the end, we were able to finish our weekend here in Barcelona in a very positive way, with a seventh- and a sixth-place finish. Above all, we learned a lot, especially from yesterday’s experience when we decided to go into Race 1 with a different tyre to what we had originally planned. We studied all the data, worked hard on the electronics and today used the tyre that we had originally thought could be good for us, and it was! We managed the tyre wear much better than yesterday, considering that the only rider who maintained the same pace until the end was Alvaro, who completed an amazing weekend. The rest of the field struggled towards the end of the races so today, having learned from yesterday, I realised mid-race that I couldn’t maintain a 1’42 pace so I slowed my rhythm in order to get to the end with the tyre. We must work on this of course, something we’ll do during testing, but over the race weekends we need to focus on what we have and try to exploit that to the full over the remaining races.”
Iker Lecuona 7
SPRC DNF RC2 P8
“This weekend has been a hard one for us, with only a few bright moments where we highlighted our potential and our speed. Today I felt good enough in warm-up and could maintain good pace. In the Superpole race, I was up to the front in the first lap but then as I went to pass Locatelli through turn 10, I lost the front and crashed. It was a bit unexpected, honestly, and of course I want to apologize to Andrea (Locatelli) because he ran into the gravel and it was my fault. Then we modified something on the bike for race 2 but I realised right from the first braking point into corner one that we were going to struggle all the way, so I did my best, made a few passes and then tried to stay with Xavi, trying to conserve the tyres. It wasn’t easy because I wasn’t perfectly comfortable with the braking and had to manage a big drop on tyre performance towards the end, but I did all I could to finish the race as well as possible. We will concentrate our work on this area as we prepare for the next races.”