Alvaro Bautista’s World Superbike Championship winning streak over the full race distance was broken by Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu after the Ducati rider fell out of the Imola finale.
Toprak Razgatlioglu became the first rider other than Alvaro Bautista to win a full-length WorldSBK race this season after the undisputed leader in points unexpectedly crashed out of the lead on the first lap at Imola.
In the first six rounds of the year, Bautista has dominated the WSBK taking home the victory in 16 of the 18 races including all of the feature races.
But that streak came to an end in the championship race at Imola when he lost control of his Ducati and crashed into the right-hander that ends the Turns 2/3 chicane after launching himself into the lead with a stunning move from second.
After failing to finish the superpole race at Mandalika, it was Bautista’s only second retirement of the year. He also missed his first opportunity to break the record for the most race victories in a season after finishing the weekend’s Race 1 with his 17th triumph.
With 12 races left, Bautista is still in contention to surpass the total won by Doug Polen in 1991 and then matched by Jonathan Rea in 2018 and 2019.
In light of Bautista’s retirement, Razgatlioglu was able to win his first full-distance race and fourth victory of the year, however he had to put up a valiant fight against Bassani’s satellite Ducati to pull off his first double victory since Indonesia 2022.
Locatelli had to make an evasive maneuver after Bautista lost control at Turn 3, which allowed Razgatlioglu to retake the lead. Bassani, who had moved up from sixth on the grid, was going up against the Turkish ace in the lead fight as opposed to teammate Locatelli.
Having trailed Razgatlioglu for a number of laps, Bassani passed the 26-year-old at Tosa on lap 8. He even managed to take a slight lead in the shortened 15-lap race.
However on lap 12, Razgatlioglu was able to draw even with Bassani and make a clean pass into Rivazza 1, assuring that he would be the only rider to win a race in 2023 other than Bautista.
With four rounds and 12 races remaining in the season, Razgatlioglu was able to reduce the gap between himself and Bautista to 70 points thanks to the victory.
Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea rounded out the podium for the Japanese manufacturer in third place after Kawasaki decided not to use the extra rpm granted to it by concession rules over the course of the weekend.
2023 WORLD SUPERBIKE IMOLA, ITALY – RACE (2) RESULTS
|1||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK||15 Laps|
|2||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Ducati||+1.966s|
|3||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||+2.458s|
|4||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK||+6.111s|
|5||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||+11.154s|
|6||Bradley Ray||GBR||Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Team||+12.210s|
|7||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Action BMW||+13.319s|
|8||Scott Redding||GBR||ROKIT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||+13.775s|
|9||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||Barni Spark Racing Team||+19.122s|
|10||Iker Lecuona||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+22.770s|
|11||Remy Gardner||AUS||GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team||+23.214s|
|12||Dominique Aegerter||SWI||GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team||+25.082s|
|13||Garrett Gerloff||USA||Bonovo Action BMW||+25.179s|
|14||Xavi Vierge||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+25.199s|
|15||Philipp Oettl||GER||GoEleven Ducati||+31.141s|
|16||Lorenzo Baldassarri||ITA||GMT94 Yamaha||+31.297s|
|17||Gabriele Ruiu||ITA||Bmax Racing BWM||+44.753s|
|18||Roberto Tamburini||ITA||PETRONAS MIE Racing HONDA Racing||+45.863s|
|19||Eric Granado||BRA||PETRONAS MIE Racing HONDA Racing||+46.190s|
|20||Leon Haslam||GBR||ROKIT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||DNF|
|21||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||DNF|
|22||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||DNF|
|23||Tito Rabat||SPA||Puccetti Kawasaki||DNF|
|24||Isaac Vinales||SPA||TPR by Vinales Racing||DNF|
|25||Oliver Konig||CZE||Orelac Racing Kawasaki||DNF|