Tyre gamble propels Bautista to win Philip island superpole

Tyre gamble propels Bautista to win Philip island superpole

Alvaro Bautista made the right choice to start on slick tyres on a track that was rapidly drying to win the final Superpole race of the World Superbike season at Phillip Island.

Ducati’s Bautista was the only rider in the field who decided to use slick tires for the 10-lap sprint, but it proved to be a wise choice as it allowed him to move up from 16th to a comfortable 15th victory of his championship-winning campaign.

Toprak Razgatlioglu finished second, solidifying his position as Jonathan Rea’s rival for second place in the standings.

After a pre-race downpour, the track was still partially wet, so pole-sitter Bautista dropped down the order on the first lap as Yamaha’s Razgatlioglu quickly took the lead and Rea and Lowes’ Kawasaki joined him to form a three-way battle.

While Lowes chose intermediate tires all around, Razgatlioglu and Rea both went for wet front and rear tires. Lowes initially seemed to have made the wiser decision when he passed Razgatlioglu to take the lead on the second lap, but by the fifth lap Rea was back in the lead and Lowes had dropped to third behind Razgatlioglu.

As the track continued to dry out, Bautista was already back inside the top 10 and had produced the quickest lap. It seemed like only a matter of time until the Spaniard would catch up to the front group.

By lap seven, when Razgatlioglu passed Rea for the lead, Bautista had moved back up to fifth after lapping two seconds faster than the leaders.

The following time around, Bautista quickly dispatched Lowes and Andrea Locatelli to move up to third, and at the start of the last lap, he attacked Rea for second place at the Southern Loop.

For a few more turns, Razgatlioglu was able to maintain the lead. However, at Lukey Heights, the move that was bound to happen occurred, and Bautista went on to win the Superpole race for just the third time in 2022.

Rea, a six-time champion, was unable to respond to Razgatlioglu as the race came to a close, sealing him into his lowest position in the riders’ standings since 2014 while Lowes, who finished fourth, missed out on the podium.

After a pit-lane start to switch to slicks, BMW rider Scott Redding returned to finish sixth, as Locatelli held off his late push to take fifth place.

Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) finishing seventh as the best of the independent riders with Xavi Vierge (Honda) and Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) completed the points-scoring trio.

A few riders stopped in pits to change tires throughout the race, but because to the reduced race distance, those who did so had limited opportunity to make up lost ground. Due to this, both Michael van der Mark (BMW), who temporarily finished in the top three on the first lap, and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who was riding the second Ducati, finished at the rear of the pack.


1Alvaro BautistaSPAAruba.It Racing Ducati10 Laps
2Toprak RazgatliogluTURPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+3.285s
3Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+3.328s
4Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+6.670s
5Andrea LocatelliITAPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+9.238s
6Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+9.328s
7Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team+12.173s
8Xavi ViergeSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+13.427s
9Xavi ForesSPABarni Spark Ducati Team+17.416s
10Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMW+18.069s
11Lucas MahiasFRAPuccetti Kawasaki+27.298s
12Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Honda Racing+29.522s
13Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa Ducati+32.064s
14Leandro MercadoARGMIE Honda Racing+35.276s
15Eugene LavertyIRLBonovo Action BMW+35.868s
16Philipp OettlGERGoEleven Ducati+40.015s
17Kohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha+50.920s
18Kyle SmithGBRPedercini Kawasaki+51.281s
19Tetsuta NagashimaJAPTeam HRC WorldSBK+51.701s
20Oliver KonigCZEOrelac Racing Kawasaki+1’03.042s
21Michael Van Der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+1’11.979s
22Michael RinaldiITAAruba.It Racing Ducati+1’36.397s

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