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Razgatlioglu wins shortened Race 1 at Portimao, Bautista and Rea complete the podium
The Turkish rider claimed his first win since Magny-Cours to close the gap to Bautista in the Championship standings
Race 1 highlights – WorldSBK
*Race distance was reduced to 14 laps with Race 1 being delayed due to not having the medical helicopter onsite following an incident in WorldSSP300 Race 1.
P1 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
Razgatlioglu claimed Race 1 victory finishing 0.657s ahead of Bautista. It was his 27th WorldSBK win.
Following Race 1, he remains second in the Championship standings 54 points behind Bautista.
“Firstly, I say I like this circuit and we are very strong from the start. Thanks to my team because they did an incredible job. My feeling with the bike is perfect. Today, we were able to win. We are winning again. We take good points from the Championship. In the first laps I am waiting, and after that I started riding. The race was not easy because I was fighting with Jonny and also Alvaro was coming. In the last few laps, I wasn’t taking risks. The race was not easy, but I know my race pace, usually, is very fast with the SC0 tyre. I’m just riding in my style and in the last four or five laps, I saw the gap get bigger.”
P2 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
After battling with Rea in the latter stages of the race, Bautista took second place in Race 1.
His Championship lead is now of 54 points ahead of Razgatlioglu.
“Today I’m happy with the performance of race even if I made two important mistakes in the race, in this short race as in the end we missed six laps. For us it was important, because normally I feel very strong in the second part of the race but today, it didn’t happen. In any case, I had a bad start and lost some positions. I had to battle to stay behind Toprak and Jonathan. Then I saw that I was maybe a couple of tenths faster than them. But then Toprak went faster. I tried to pass Jonathan to catch Toprak, but I made my second mistake of the race. When I passed Jonathan, I braked too late in Turn 1 and I missed the corner and went out. I lost time and the chance to catch Toprak because there were not enough laps left. In any case, I’m happy because we were quite competitive, I felt good on the bike. Tomorrow, I try to keep this feeling with the bike.”
P3 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Rea completed the Race 1 podium, finishing 3.032s behind Razgatlioglu. It was his 22nd podium place at Portimao.
He is third in the standings, 71 points behind Bautista and 17 points behind Razgatlioglu.
“I’m a little bit disappointed to be honest because we had a really good pace when the tyre was new but as soon as our tyre dropped a little bit, I really struggled with entering the corners and also in that first part of acceleration. I was with the harder rear tyre option. We set the bike for the longer race. Maybe going with that SC0 option like the front two guys was the way forward. But I have to be happy with my race. I gave everything I could. We have a good idea of where to improve for tomorrow.”
P4 – Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing)
Having just committed for another season with Motocorsa Racing in 2023, Bassani delivered a fourth place finish after a last lap battle with Lowes.
“Today was a really good race. We finished fourth. It’s a really nice result, I wanted this top five and we’re here. I’m happy with the job we did this weekend with my team. We improved every practice but I want a podium. Today I was really close to the podium, I was really close today and tomorrow I’ll try to get it.”
P5 – Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK
After battling with Bassani, Lowes was fifth in Race 1 and crossed the finish line 0.091s behind the Italian rider.
“It was a good battle. I had some good fun in the last few laps with Axel. I tried to pass him but he passed me back. In the last lap he didn’t make any mistake anywhere. He’s riding really well. I just couldn’t find a part of the track where I had an advantage to pass him. And in general, today I’ve been happy with my Superpole performance. In the race, the pace was faster than I expected. I was able to hang in there a bit and I think I can improve a little bit on the braking. I enjoyed the race and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
P6 – Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
Locatelli completed the Race 1 top six, finishing 8.805s behind his teammate.
“In the end, it’s not the result you want to get but, in the end, I had a really good race. The rhythm was much better than yesterday and really fast. For sure, we need to work for tomorrow to prepare the bike and find something to be faster especially in the first part of the race, because it’s important for me to fight for a good position. But in general, I’m happy because I had a great weekend. We are always fast.”
The first Honda rider was Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) in 8th place, whilst the first BMW rider was Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) in 9th.
WorldSBK action resumes on Sunday from 09:00 (Local Time), followed by Tissot Superpole Race at 11:00 and Race 2 at 15:15.
REA TAKES ANOTHER PODIUM FINISH
A shorter than expected opening WorldSBK race at Portimao delivered a third place finish to Jonathan Rea, with his KRT team-mate Alex Lowes in fifth place after 14 laps of the 4.592km long circuit in Portugal.
Rea was in imperious form long before the start of the delayed and then reduced duration first WorldSBK race of the weekend. He secured his fifth Superpole win of the year, and the 40th of his career, with a new track best of 1’39.610. Rea smashed the previous record despite there being no SCQ qualifying tyres available for all the riders this weekend.
Rea started well from pole position and led the first five laps until he was passed by eventual race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu. With five laps of the 14 to go Alvaro Bautista came through, then ran wide, allowing Rea to reassert himself in second place for a short time. Bautista passed on the main straight on the next lap and Rea would end up third at the flag.
Lowes was on very strong form in Superpole qualifying, joining Rea in the new ‘sub-1.40’ club with his 1’39.859 – good enough for third place on the starting grid.
Lowes was second across the start/finish line on lap one but was fourth on the next lap. He would end up fifth at the flag, fighting with Axel Bassani all the way. Alex was only 0.091 seconds from a top four finish in another strong battle near the front fo the field.
Now Lowes and Rea will face the ten-lap Tissot-Superpole Race and a full distance Race Two on Sunday 9 October.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “The Superpole lap was incredible. When the bike had grip I felt I got everything out of the lap. Aside from a little slide on the final corner it was perfect. It was nice to get that and when you are competing at the front that launch from pole position is everything. I got a good start that I was happy with. I went with the harder option rear tyre, of a stiffer construction, and that was always in the plan after a long run yesterday. I knew it would potentially be a bit more competitive than the SC0 tyre. When the race changed to 14 laps, not 21, it changed our strategy a little bit. We stuck to our guns and raced the harder option. In hindsight I just missed a little bit of grip, especially in the middle part of the race, when the first drop of the tyre came. I made a couple of small mistakes and Toprak broke the tow a little. Then Alvaro was coming, with a good pace. I couldn’t fight with him as he took so much time out of me in sector four and the beginning of sector one. I was riding on my limit just to keep the gap.”
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “I wanted to go under 1’40 in Superpole so to achieve that was really good. I think any time you are with Johnny, Toprak or Alvaro you are riding quite well. In the race I had a good start but on a full tank of fuel I was struggling to stop at the beginning. In the race itself I felt quite good and I had decent pace. Maybe on lap six, seven, eight, I thought I needed to relax a bit because the rear tyre was dropping. I came strong again at the end and had a good battle with Axel. Hopefully we can improve the braking a bit for Sunday so that I can fight a little bit more. Honestly, without this fight, I felt my pace was a little bit faster; quite strong. Because we went from the planned 21 laps to 14, I had already changed the front tyre choice. I went to the SC1 to give me a bit more grip. I think this was a good choice.”
Bautista conquers valuable second place on difficult Saturday at Portimao. Rinaldi finishes in P7. Bulega makes up 17 places from last on the grid and takes the final point
Everything happens on Saturday at Portimao. First a chaotic Superpole: a yellow flag cancelled the best lap to many riders, before giving back the fourth place to Bautista. Then a serious incident in the Superport 300 race caused the Superbike race to be delayed by almost two hours and to be reduced to 14 laps.
This time Alvaro Bautista is not super-brilliant at the start and finds himself in fifth position. The Spaniard battled first with Lowes (Kawasaki) and then Bassani (Ducati) to get into the slipstream of the leading pair of Rea (Kawasaki) and Razgatlioglu (Yamaha). With three laps to go Bautista overtakes Rea but then he loses a few metres: this move prevents him from attacking Razgatlioglu for the win.
Michael Rinaldi (P9 on the grid) chooses the softer tyre, which, however, does not give the hoped-for benefits. The Italian rider is unable to have an incisive race pace and he finishes in seventh position.
P2 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“It was a good race even if there is a hint of regret because I knew I was really competitive in the second half. We missed those six laps, but it’s also true that the difficult start, the battle with Bassani and the mistake to overtake Rea made me lose metres on Razgatlioglu. However, the feeling remains extremely positive ahead of tomorrow’s races”.
P7 – Michael Rinaldi (aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“I’m pretty disappointed with this race. Unfortunately, we had a problem in FP3 that didn’t allow us to work. We also lost an important session to understand which was the best tyre for the race. The choice we made did not turn out to be the best one. It’s a shame because the feeling on Friday was very good. Tomorrow I definitely want to try again and stay at the front”.
Nicolò Bulega had to deal with a problem with his Ducati Panigale V2 that prevented him from taking part in Superpole. Starting from 32nd position, the Aruba.it Racing WSSP rider makes up position after position and eventually finishes 15th, gaining at least one point.
P15 – Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“It goes without saying that the problem in qualifying heavily conditioned today’s race and it will condition tomorrow’s. I tried to push hard right from the first laps but I lost too much time to get past the first group. I will try to do better tomorrow even though it won’t be easy”.
Alvaro Diaz wins maiden
The Spanish rider secured the 2022 WorldSSP300 Riders’ Championship at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve
With two wins and 11 podium places, Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) has clinched the 2022 WorldSSP300 Champion at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. The new World Champion was challenged by Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki), Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) and Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) throughout the 2022 season, but he was able to secure the 2022 title and became the fifth Spanish Champion of the category.
In Portimao, the original start of Race 1 was red flagged following a crash at the end of Lap 2 involving Diaz’ main rival Steeman, who was transported via helicopter to Faro Hospital with polytrauma and a head injury. Diaz was crowned 2022 after taking sixth place in the restarted race, which was raced over eight laps, while Geiger claimed his maiden victory in Race 1.
The 2022 WorldSSP300 Champion started his career in the ESBK Superbike Junior class where he finished the 2019 season sixth overall and came second in the Yamaha bLU cRU challenge. In 2020, he made his WorldSSP300 debut with the Biblion MotoXRacing Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team, finishing in 20th place in the Championship standings. In 2021, he participated in the Catalan and Spanish rounds as he claimed three top five finishes out of four races, including a career-first podium in Barcelona, missing out on victory by just 0.003s. 2022 marked his comeback for a full campaign with the Arco Motor University Team, concluding the season as the WorldSSP300 Champion. Diaz started his second season on a high as he took his first victory in the category in Aragon Race 2, before the really took hold of the Championship from the middle of the season onwards. He then claimed two wins and 11 podiums over the course of the season and amongst those, proved that consistency was key, taking points in all but one race and finishing in the top six in all but two.
With this latest achievement in his career, Diaz confirmed that he would follow in the footsteps of WorldSSP300 Champions before him such as Manuel Gonzalez, Jeffrey Buis and Adrian Huertas and graduate to WorldSSP for 2023. The new challenge will see him try and make a name for himself as he moves up through the WorldSBK paddock classes.
Alvaro Diaz, Arco Motor University Team:
“The race was difficult; Victor Steeman, stay strong and stay with the paddock. It was a difficult race but a happy day. I want to thank all my team for the hard work. This title is the result of five years of hard work. In the first race, I started thinking that I could achieve the title. It was difficult because the Championship is very long. At Assen, I thought I could ‘restart’ the Championship with our third position. In the last races, Victor was really fast, and he is a very strong rival. Marc Garcia stayed in the lead during the whole season, he was also my rival as a Yamaha rider.
Next year, I think I’ll stay with Yamaha because they supported me for five years. I’m very happy with them and with my team. In 2023, I’ll ride in WorldSSP. For me it will be a new adventure, a new adventure and I think I can do well.”