Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) delivered a stellar performance in Race 1 at Jerez to claim not only the race victory but also the 2023 WorldSBK title. Bautista needed just two points to secure the title, and he did so with his 25th win of the season. His domination is now etched in history as he becomes the first Ducati rider to retain the title since Carl Fogarty in 1998 and 1999.
While Bautista seized the championship, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) valiantly chased him to a second-place finish. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) fought his way from the fourth row to take third, marking his 14th career podium. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took fourth place. Danilo Petrucci’s (Barni Spark Racing Team) fifth-place performance showcased his prowess in the Independent Riders’ Championship as he closed the gap on Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), whose race took an unfortunate turn as he crashed out following an incident with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
Alvaro Bautista’s flawless performance in Race 1 secured his second consecutive WorldSBK title. His victory marked his 25th win of the season, establishing a new record.
P1 | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
“I feel so happy! Now I’m starting to realise what we have achieved. I’m really happy and so proud of my team and people, because we had an incredible year. We won a lot of races, our performance in almost all situations was good. The best way to end the season is to defend the title. My two previous titles were won in Australia and Indonesia, so a bit far from home. It’s okay, you enjoy it with your team and friends there but it’s not the same as celebrating with your family, real friends, with your team and all the fans. It’s like a dream come true! It’s not easy to win a title at home. I’m so happy to win, but so happy to have the chance to celebrate with everyone!
To do it here at Jerez was very, very special. Many people said, ‘you only need two points, keep calm’. I said, ‘I don’t think about the points or the results or the Championship’. I wanted to stay free and just enjoy it. Maybe, if you’re thinking about that kind of target which can be easy to do, it’s worse because then you relax and you lose your focus, lose your performance. I preferred to just forget about everything and try to focus on myself, enjoy my riding. I felt so good from the beginning, and I could keep my pace. In the last laps, I started to think about the Championship more but that’s normal! Now I can be more relaxed especially from the outside, especially because a lot of people put a lot of pressure on me.”
WorldSBK Race 1 Results
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +1.195s
3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +9.071s
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +10.065s
5. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +10.661s
6. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) 11.538s
WorldSBK Championship standings
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 591 points
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 526 points
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 363 points