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.
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
2. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.657s
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.032s
4. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +4.471s
5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +4.562s
6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +8.805s
1. Alvaro Bautista (ESP) Ducati (414 points)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (360 points)
3. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (343 points)