Championship leader Alvaro Bautista was forced to retire from Race 2 after an early clash with Rea
P1 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
Razgatlioglu won Race 2 after battling with Rinaldi and Bassani.
He moved up in the Championship standings, and his gap to Bautista is now just 30 points.
“Today we were very strong. We won in the Superpole Race and, for me, Race 2 was very important. We normally take very big points from Race 2. I’m very happy today. This is my favourite track and we won again. Normally, my dream for this weekend is three wins but Saturday for me was bad luck. On Saturday, my big problem was the brake but today we changed all the kit and I’m feeling much better. Also, we improved the bike a little bit and I keep fighting for the win. I’m not thinking about the Championship. I don’t know how many points; I’m looking race by race and fighting for the win. Today, I am very happy. Alvaro had a crash. This is racing. This weekend was a strange weekend for all the riders!”
P2 – Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
Rinaldi was the lead Ducati rider and took second place to claim his best result of 2022.
He moved into fourth place in the Championship, one point ahead of Locatelli.
“It’s been difficult to get the results that we have showed we can get. This podium means a lot to me. It was also a really nice race, because I fought really hard with Jonny, with Axel and with Toprak so I enjoyed it. The last part of the race, maybe in the middle part, I was pushing too much and didn’t save the tyre for the last laps. I tried to stay with Toprak and fight in the last laps, but my tyre was almost finished. I couldn’t push too much. I need to be happy with second place. It’s good to be back on the podium.”
P3 – Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing)
Bassani claimed third position for his second podium at the 2022 French Round; the first time he has taken more than one podium in a single round.
He stands in sixth place in the Championship standings and is the top Independent rider.
“I tried to stay in front all the race. It was the first time for me in front of the race. It was difficult but I tried. And now I understood some things. I want to continue like this. Two podium places in one weekend is incredible. It’s the first time I’m achieving it in my career and also for my team. Now we are very consistent, and I want to continue this way. I want to repeat these results in Barcelona.”
P4 – Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Lowes took his third fourth place finish of the French Round finishing six seconds ahead of Rea.
“We had three fourth positions and that’s really a bit disappointed that we couldn’t make on of them into a podium. I’ve felt good this weekend. I’ve felt good with the bike in wet and dry conditions. We found an improvement with the rear of the bike at the Montmelo test and this has been good for me. It allows me to have a bit more confidence coming off the corner. Today, once the temperature rose up a little bit, I felt good on the bike. Axel did a great job, gave me no opportunity to pass him. It’s nice to see the young guys coming up and doing well. But I feel as fast and motivated as ever. I feel like I’m riding well and I’m looking forward to start kicking on for the second part of the season.”
P5 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Following his Long Lap Penalty after the clash with Bautista, Rea was only able to make up a couple of places to finish fifth.
Rea’s winless streak now spans 12 races, his longest since a run of 33 without a win in 2012 and 2013.
He now stands in third place in the Championship, 47 points behind Bautista.
“Firstly, I’m really sorry Bautista went down. There was some contact there. I’ve been to see him already and offered him my apologies and gave my point of view. I listened to him so, for me, I’ve turned the page now. I arrived at Turn 13 with zero bad intentions. I only had to make a pass; I knew that Toprak would be the guy with the pace. I tried to make a good last sector before the long back straight. I went down to the inside, he committed to the apex so, of course, there was contact. For me, it wasn’t an over the line manoeuvre. I made my apex. I didn’t blow my own corner. Of course, I’m sorry he lost points; I don’t want to ride in this way. I got the penalty. I didn’t know whether to expect something or not and I had to take it.”
P6 – Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
Redding took sixth place having lost fifth position to Rea when he ran wide at the 180 Degree corner.
Redding is on a run of ten races inside the top ten
“Sixth place, today it was not the result I wanted. I always say I need to be minimum fourth. I struggled a little bit in acceleration areas at this track. When you are racing against the top guys, in the same class, it’s hard to override in areas so you then start to come into problems, like destroying the front tyre, which I then went on to do. Then my pace started to slow down a little bit more and I had to manage the race a bit different. I’m kind of happy because the situation that we’re in, where we came, I would have liked a bit more but that was everything I had.”
On Lap 2 at Turn 13, when Jonathan Rea made contact with Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati); the Ducati rider going through the gravel and retiring from the race. Rea was deemed to be at fault for the clash and was given a Long Lap Penalty which he served on Lap 7, re-joining the race in seventh after losing a few positions.
Discussing the incident from his point of view, Bautista said: “The manoeuvre was out of the limits, for me. This wasn’t a mistake from Jonathan, he intentionally came to me. I think it’s unacceptable, these kinds of things, coming from any rider but especially coming from a great Champion like him. This kind of action, he showed he’s very fast, very brave, he’s a Champion. He won in the past, he wins, he stayed at the front, but he showed a Champion cannot do this kind of action. For me, it’s unacceptable. It’s nice for the Championship but, for me, it’s strange for me that if the stewards consider that it was a bad manoeuvre from Jonathan and they gave him a Long Lap Penalty, I think, it’s not enough. I get out of the race and he finished in fifth place; I think it’s not fair.”
Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) finished ninth on home soil whilst Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 12th and Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) 16th.
The Catalunya Round will take place from the 23rd to 25th of September at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.