Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista won his second World Superbike race in a row, defeating Jonathan Rea’s Kawasaki at Motorland Aragon.
After ending a two-year win drought in only his second race back at Ducati on Sunday, Bautista repeated the feat in the season opener’s last race after winning an early fight with Rea.
The Spaniard didn’t make the best of his pole-position starts, allowing Rea to pass him at Turn 1 and Toprak Razgatlioglu to pass him at Turn 4. Bautista retook the lead at Turn 16 with a courageous dive up the inside of Rea into the lengthy left-hander, having rapidly past the Yamaha.
For the first half of the race, Rea and Bautista battled for position, with the lead changing hands many times over the course of each lap. After slipping behind Bautista again on lap 5, Rea drove wide at Turn 1 while defending from Michael Ruben Rinaldi and dropped to fourth behind Razgatlioglu’s Yamaha.
Rea passed Razgatloglu immediately, but it took him until lap 11 to overtake Rinaldi, by which time Bautista had built a 1.5-second lead over him in the lead.
And, with even more speed on his Ducati, Bautista glided to the finish line, winning by 4.4 seconds over Rea, who was forced to settle for second place after winning the first race on Saturday.
As the race progressed, Rinaldi was unable to keep up with the leading duo, falling behind reigning champion Razgatlioglu with only three circuits remaining and missing out on a podium finish for the second race in a row.
Alex Lowes, Rea’s teammate, finished fifth for Kawasaki, with Axel Bassani, the best independent rider on the Motocorsa Ducati, finishing sixth.
Loris Baz of Bonovo MGM improved from 13th on the pole to ninth at the finish in what was generally a disastrous race for BMW, passing the two factory Hondas by lap 7 of 18.
Xaxi Vierge and Iker Lecuona finished eighth and tenth, respectively, in the two HRC-entered CBR1000RRs, separated by Garrett Gerloff’s GRT Yamaha.
After a crash in the Superpole race caused him to start from the back of the pack, Ilya Mikhalchik earned a single point in 15th, while Scott Redding’s awful debut weekend with BMW continued when he was forced to quit from the race due to technical issues.
The race’s only other retiree was Japanese racer Kohta Nozane, who was involved in a stunning crash just a few circuits from the finish.
2022 WORLD SUPERBIKE ARAGON, SPAIN – RACE (2) RESULTS
|1||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||18 Laps|
|2||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||+4.393s|
|3||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||+6.223s|
|4||Michael Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||+8.817s|
|5||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||+12.247s|
|6||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Ducati||+15.775s|
|7||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Action BMW||+23.295s|
|8||Xavi Vierge||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+24.790s|
|9||Garrett Gerloff||USA||GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team||+25.406s|
|10||Iker Lecuona||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+25.570s|
|11||Lucas Mahias||FRA||Puccetti Kawasaki||+27.641s|
|12||Eugene Laverty||IRL||Bonovo Action BMW||+28.867s|
|13||Philipp Oettl||GER||GoEleven Ducati||+29.325s|
|14||Roberto Tamburini||ITA||Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Team||+29.555s|
|15||Ilya Mykhalchyk||UKR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||+31.843s|
|16||Luca Bernardi||SM||Barni Spark Ducati Team||+43.246s|
|17||Gabriele Ruiu||ITA||Bmax Racing||+45.734s|
|18||Christophe Ponsson||FRA||Gil Motor Sport Yamaha||+46.349s|
|19||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||+55.354s|
|20||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||MIE Honda Racing||+59.298s|
|21||Leandro Mercado||ARG||MIE Honda Racing||+1 Lap|
|22||Oliver Konig||CZE||Orelac Racing Kawasaki||+1 Lap|
|23||Loris Cresson||BEL||Pedercini Kawasaki||+1 Lap|
|24||Kohta Nozane||JPN||GRT Yamaha||DNF|
|25||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||DNF|