In a gripping WorldSBK Race 2 at Portimao, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) etched his name in the record books once again. The reigning champion clinched his 56th victory on a Ducati, surpassing the legendary Carl Fogarty’s win tally with the Italian manufacturer.
However, this historic achievement didn’t come easy, as Bautista engaged in a breathtaking duel with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), where the first position changed hands throughout the race. Bautista briefly took the lead on several occasions, only for Razgatlioglu to respond with remarkable moves of his own.
In the end, it was Bautista who managed to secure the victory in a dramatic drag race to the finish line, edging out Razgatlioglu by a mere 0.126 seconds. Bautista’s triumph marked another milestone for Ducati, but it fell just short of securing him a second riders’ title.
Meanwhile, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) mounted a spirited charge from the second row to claim the final spot on the podium. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) continued his impressive form with a solid fourth-place finish, followed closely by Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) in fifth and sixth.
P1 | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
“It was amazing! It was a great battle between Toprak and me and I’m so proud to fight with him. He did his best and he had nothing to lose, so he tried every time, everywhere. It didn’t matter which corner or how he tried the pass. I’m proud to fight with him. I also tried my best. I tried to overtake him and close the corners, but he always tried. We were very close to touching many, many times! For me, it was a very enjoyable race. In the end, at the last corner because I was strong there, I tried to pass him but he learnt about the pass after the morning overtake and he closed the last part of the corner. At the moment, I thought if I couldn’t go inside, go outside because it’s the only chance you have. I opened the gas, the bike started to accelerate, and I went to the kerb. I could pass him. I think it was a great move! It was like instinct.”
P2 | Toprak Razgatlioglu | Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK
“We kept fighting in the race because I’m just focused on winning because I was very angry after the Superpole Race. I saw Alvaro wasn’t very strong and I was better in the last corner than in the Superpole Race but in the race, I fought with him. I said ‘this race is mine’ because he wasn’t very strong and whilst I was on the limit, it was easier to attack. I said, ‘I need to win’ and, especially on the last lap, the feeling was good, and every corner was better than before. At the last corner, I tried something different, but it didn’t work; when I picked up the bike, there’s no acceleration and this was the biggest problem. Alvaro went outside but I don’t understand how his rear tyre grips better than me, but his bike’s acceleration is unbelievable, and it was possible to come back. I’m really angry and I did everything to win. Anyway, we finished second, but I don’t care for this; we lost, and I’m just focused on winning.”
WorldSBK Race 2 Results
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.126s
3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +1.764s
4. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +2.864s
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +6.373s
6. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +9.305s
WorldSBK Championship standings
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 566 points
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 506 points
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 350 points