Alvaro Bautista took his fourth win of 2023 after his Phillip Island hat-trick, finishing 4.809s ahead of Razgatlioglu. He now has a 37 point-advantage in the Championship standings.
P1 | | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing Team
“The race wasn’t easy because we had to compromise the performance and the management of the tyre life as we had many issues during practices. I was able to make a good start and recover some positions. I was behind Toprak in the first few laps trying to not overstress the front tyre. Then, I saw we were a big group, and I thought the pace could be a bit faster to reduce the number of riders in the group. I tried to pass Toprak and put my pace. I got a good feeling with bike, and I enjoyed the race. I’m happy because last year I struggled a lot here and this year we are so competitive. We made big improvements.”
P5 | | Danilo Petrucci | Barni Spark Racing Team
“I didn’t expect to be so strong in the race. Friday was a tough day; it is such a difficult track with just one line. You pay quite a lot for a small mistake. This morning, we made some adjustments, and everything was in the right direction. I had a good start. I was quite scared about the tyre wear, so I was a bit too conservative at the beginning and I had too many people pass me. In the end, I found my rhythm. I had a good battle with Jonny, and it was a pleasure and a pride for me to fight with a I don’t know how many times World Champion… too many times World Champion! I tried to follow Bassani, but I had too few laps and I was suffering a lot in the heat.”
Bautista was initially behind Toprak Razgatlioglu in the opening five laps of the race as the pair led the first group. The reigning Champion applied pressure to Razgatlioglu in the early stages but did make his move until Lap 5 as he caught Razgatlioglu by surprise through Turn 15 to move into the lead of the race.
Bautista’s fourth win in the 2023 season means he is now on a winning run of six races that stretches back to Phillip Island in 2022, while he also claimed his and Ducati’s first victory at Mandalika. Ducati are also edging closer to a milestone win as the Italian manufacturer now have 396 wins in WorldSBK.
Razgatlioglu was able to pull away from Bassani to claim second place behind Bautista. Razgatlioglu took his 85th podium. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was able to make the move on Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) on Lap 11 at Turn 10 to move into third place for his second podium of the 2023 season. Locatelli’s third place means he remains second in the Championship standings behind Bautista.
With Bassani dropping back from the podium fight, he ended up battling with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) for fourth spot with the pair exchanging positions on several occasions. Lowes passed Bassani at Turn 12 on Lap 12 before Bassani responded at Turn 16 to re-gain fourth place and, after that, Lowes found himself dropping down the order.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the first retirement of the race after he was involved in a Turn 1 crash on the opening lap, after a collision with Bassani. Rinaldi retired from the race but Bassani was able to continue. Rinaldi went to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. He will be reassessed ahead of Warm Up on Sunday morning after being diagnosed with a minimal head injury but no signs of concussion have been detected currently.
WorldSBK action resumes on Sunday from 8:30 (Local Time) with the Warm-Up, followed by Tissot Superpole Race at 10:30 and Race 2 at 13:30.
WorldSBK Race 1 Results
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +4.809s
3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +6.586s
4. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +8.871s
5. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +11.667s
6. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +12.685s
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 87 points
2. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 50 points
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 43 points