Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista won the Assen WorldSBK weekend’s final race, which saw Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea collide while battling for the lead.
After starting from from second place on the grid, Razgatlioglu led the early portions of the race. But he was immediately put under pressure by polesitter Rea, who had recovered from a poor start that had left him in fifth place at the end of lap one.
Rea closed in quickly on Razgatlioglu after getting a great exit out of the final corner on lap 5, and the Kawasaki rider took advantage when the Turkish rider went wide at Turn 1 and opened the door for him.
The overtaking effort, however, ended in disaster when they both fell out after colliding at the exit of the bend, in the most infamous incident between the two in WSBK history.
Iker Lecuona took the lead unexpectedly, but Bautista was able to repass the Honda rider in a single lap and cruise to his third victory of the 2022 season.
The win also puts Bautista 18 points ahead of Rea in the standings, with reigning champion Razgatlioglu, who has yet to win this season, already 45 points behind.
Andrea Locatelli, Razgatlioglu’s factory Yamaha teammate, finished second in the race after overtaking Lecuona four laps to the finish to achieve his best result of the season.
Lecuona, on the other hand, had plenty of reasons to be pleased with his third-place finish, which was his first in his rookie WSBK season and the first for Honda since Bautista’s twin of third-place finishes with the Japanese manufacturer in the second part of the 2021 season.
Alex Lowes, the lone remaining Kawasaki rider, came back hard from a double retirement to finish a comfortable fourth, less than two seconds off the podium. Axel Bassani finished fifth on the Motorcross Ducati becoming the top independent rider in a race that saw both Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) and Loris Baz (Bonovo BMW) retire early due to separate crashes.
Meanwhile, Scott Redding had his finest race as a BMW rider, charging from the outside of the top ten to finish sixth, barely two tenths behind Bassani after riding as high as fourth.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, riding for the second factory Ducati, was followed by teammate Michael van der Mark, who was still recovering from a pre-season injury that forced him to miss the Aragon round a month earlier.
Xavi Vierge of Honda and Lucas Mahias of the Puccetti Kawasaki rounded out the top 10, while Leon Haslam on the Pedercini Kawasaki finished 13th to round off his comeback weekend.
2022 WORLD SUPERBIKE ASSEN, NETHERLANDS – RACE RESULTS
|1||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||21 Laps|
|2||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||+8.877s|
|3||Iker Lecuona||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+11.580s|
|4||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||+13.329s|
|5||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Ducati||+14.490s|
|6||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||+14.672s|
|7||Michael Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||+23.374s|
|8||Michael Van Der Mark||NED||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||+28.511s|
|9||Xavi Vierge||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+29.067s|
|10||Lucas Mahias||FRA||Puccetti Kawasaki||+29.434s|
|11||Roberto Tamburini||ITA||Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Team||+36.810s|
|12||Christophe Ponsson||FRA||Gil Motor Sport Yamaha||+36.814s|
|13||Leon Haslam||GBR||Pedercini Kawasaki||+37.000s|
|14||Luca Bernardi||SM||Barni Spark Ducati Team||+38.862s|
|15||Leandro Mercado||ARG||MIE Honda Racing||+41.674s|
|16||Gabriele Ruiu||ITA||Bmax Racing||+51.525s|
|17||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||MIE Honda Racing||+51.382s|
|18||Oliver Konig||CZE||Orelac Racing Kawasaki||+1 Lap|
|19||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||DNF|
|20||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||DNF|
|21||Kohta Nozane||JPN||GRT Yamaha||DNF|
|22||Philipp Oettl||GER||GoEleven Ducati||DNF|
|23||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Action BMW||DNF|
|24||Garrett Gerloff||USA||GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team||DNF|