Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea won the dramatic final World Superbike race of the weekend at Estoril after initiating a gutsy pass on title leader Alvaro Bautista on the final lap.

 Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista appeared on track for his second win of the weekend in Portugal after overhauling Rea for the lead on lap 14 of 21, but the Kawasaki rider attacked him again in the final stages.

Rea was unable to make a pass stick at Estoril’s most obvious passing locations, the Turn 1 right-hander and the Turn 6 double left-hander, but made an audacious attack on Bautista into the Turn 7 downhill right-hander.

That strategy didn’t work out either, as Bautista reclaimed the lead, but it did set Rea up to dive up the inside at the tight Turn 9-10 complex and hold on for his fifth win of the season by only 0.194 seconds. The win closes the championship deficit between the two to 17 points, with the Kawasaki rider also winning the Superpole race earlier in the day.

The first half of the race was dominated by a duel between Rea and incumbent champion Toprak Razgatlioglu, who led from the start until being overhauled by his 2021 title contender into Turn 6 on the first lap. The reigning champion momentarily regained the lead on lap 7, but was demoted by Rea two laps later, and then by Bautista on lap 11.

Razgatlioglu stayed close to the two leaders early on but faded in the closing circuits, eventually finishing fourth, four seconds behind the leaders, extending his winless start to his title defence. On the second Kawasaki, Alex Lowes replicated his best result of the year after finishing fourth, running in the lead group early on but losing contact with the pack when he raced wide at the first curve on lap 15.

Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli held on to sixth place just ahead of Iker Lecuona, whose Honda’s front mudguard mysteriously fell off during the warm-up lap, but had little effect on the Spaniard’s performance.

Axel Bassani on the Motocorsa Ducati finished seventh, ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s factory V4 R, with Xavi Vierge (Honda) and last-minute GoEleven Ducati replacement Xavi Fores rounding out the top ten.

As his poor start to the season continued, Scott Redding was BMW’s top representative in 11th place as Lucas Mahias of Puccetti Kawasaki was unable to compete due to a hand injury he¬†suffered in a crash during the Superpole race.

2022 WORLD SUPERBIKE ESTORIL, PORTUGAL FINAL RACE RESULTS

POSRIDERNATTEAMTIME
1Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK21 Laps
2Alvaro BautistaSPAAruba.It Racing Ducati+0.194s
3Toprak RazgatliogluTURPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+4.350s
4Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+7.125s
5Andrea LocatelliITAPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+8.232s
6Iker LecuonaSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+8.309s
7Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa Ducati+10.865s
8Michael RinaldiITAAruba.It Racing Ducati+16.082s
9Xavi ViergeSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+18.292s
10Xavi ForesSPAGoEleven Ducati+18.412s
11Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+19.758s
12Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMW+25.193s
13Kohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha+27.753s
14Eugene LavertyIRLBonovo Action BMW+38.391s
15Luca BernardiSMBarni Spark Ducati Team+38.424s
16Christophe PonssonFRAGil Motor Sport Yamaha+41.541s
17Marvin FritzGERMotoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Team+42.555s
18Leandro MercadoARGMIE Honda Racing+49.775s
19Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Honda Racing+51.535s
20Oliver KonigCZEOrelac Racing Kawasaki+1 Lap
21Isaac VinalesSPAPedercini KawasakiDNF

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