(Motorsport-Total.com) – Factory Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista is the Superbike World Champion for the 2022 season. At the WSBK event in Mandalica (Indonesia), Bautista’s second place in the second main race was enough for an early championship decision ( race result).
Alvaro Bautista ended Ducati’s dry spell in the World Superbike Championship
It’s Ducati’s first title win since Carlos Checa in the 2011 WSBK season. The most successful manufacturer’s longest drought in the World Superbike Championship is over (according to Bautista’s detailed post-race reaction).
Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu won the second main race in Mandalica. Three wins were not enough to postpone the World Cup decision. The Turk was dethroned at the track where he celebrated the title last year. Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea completed the podium.
Philipp Öttl will not be allowed to start the second race
Before the second main event, the field was reduced to 19 riders. Honda rider Iker Lecuona is out after crashing in FT2 and will miss the rest of the season. The weekend ended for Puccetti Kawasaki pilot Lucas Mahias after crashing in FT3.
And GoEleven Ducati pilot Philipp Öttl missed the second main race as well. Doctors classified the German as unfit after the sprint race. Öttl was hospitalized for further tests. This was preceded by a crash in the first race.
Good start from Jonathan Rea
Defending champion Toprak Razgatlioglu started the second main race from pole position. The first row was completed by Jonathan Rea and Andrea Locatelli. Alvaro Bautista started the race from fourth on the grid and had to finish in the top three if Razgatlioglu was to win and secure the title.
Razgatlioglu took the win at the start, but went off the line a bit in turn 1. Rea accelerated from Razgatlioglu to take the lead. Bautista was fourth behind Locatelli. The top 4 pulled away slightly from the rest of the field. The chase group was led by Axel Bassani (Motocorsa-Ducati), who secured the Independent title in the Superpole race.
Rea led the race at the start but was under pressure from Razgatlioglu. Bautista held back early on and studied his opponents. On the fourth lap, Bautista attacked Locatelli and moved into third position. The Spaniard was thus on his way to the title.
Jonathan Rea loses the lead and is handed over
A lap later, Locatelli made a mistake and lost fourth position to Bassani, who made his way into the front group with the fastest lap of the race. The pace of the leading group was not particularly fast. Drivers took care of their tires at an asphalt temperature of 61°C.
On the sixth lap, Razgatlioglu braked in front of Rea and took the lead. A lap later, Rea slipped off the running board and was subsequently overtaken by Bautista. In the eighth lap, Bassani overtook Rea as well. The high temperatures of the asphalt made it difficult for Reo to work.
At the front, Razgatlioglu and Bautista pulled away from the rest of the field. Halfway through the race, Bassani was no longer able to keep up the pace. Rea came through and took third place. A gap has already formed with Razgatlioglu and Rea.
Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alvaro Bautista exchange hard punches
At the start of the second half of the race, Bautista broke out of the slipstream several times and found himself next to Razgatlioglu. The Ducati rider wanted to celebrate the title with a win in front of Ducati Racing Director Luigi Dall’Igna and Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti. At the start of lap 14, Bautista outbraked Razgatlioglu in Turn 1.
But the defending champion countered with an aggressive braking maneuver. Bautista retook the lead at the end of the lap and managed to gain some breathing room. Razgatlioglu has not given up yet.
On lap 16, Bautista again lost the lead to Razgatlioglu. The fight for victory allowed Rhea to connect. The top 3 were all within a few tenths of a second with five laps to go.
Alvaro Bautista concedes defeat and finishes second
Razgatlioglu set the fastest race lap on lap 17 and pulled away slightly. Bautista lost contact. But Rhea wasn’t fast enough to attack. The positions of the first 3 did not change until the finish line.
The victory went to Razgatlioglu, who won all three races at the WSBK event in Indonesia. But three wins were not enough to postpone the World Cup decision. Bautista clinched the 2022 WSBK title and delighted Ducati.
Emotional words from the new Superbike World Champion
“After the last two years, in which I had many difficulties, I would like to thank everyone who believed in me and gave me the chance to fight here for good results and the championship. I want to thank Ducati,” he added. Bautista commented
“I was a bit nervous and felt a bit stressed,” admits the new world champion. “I tried to control my emotions. When I was in the lead because I had too much on my mind. I tried to be second. Toprak was very strong. That’s why I lost touch. I just wanted to finish the race and I” am very happy. “
“Also, congratulations to Toprak and Jonathan for their impressive performances this season. They are very hard to beat,” notes the new champion. “I was often very consistent and that’s why I was able to win the title.”
Scott Redding places BMW in the top 6
Fourth place was taken by Andrea Locatelli, who in the final stages of the race got ahead of compatriot Axel Bassani. Scott Redding secured the top six for BMW. Xavi Vierge (Honda), Garrett Gerloff (GRT-Yamaha), Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) and Michael Rinaldi (Ducati) completed the top 10.
The final race weekend of the 2022 WSBK season will take place next weekend at Phillip Island (Australia).