The Spanish rider moved up the order to claim home victory at Barcelona
Race 1 highlights – WorldSBK
P1 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
Bautista claimed the victory in Race 1 battling up from fifth place on the grid.
Bautista is the first rider to start fifth or lower and lead all the laps in a race since Jonathan Rea in Jerez Race 2 in 2017.
He finished 8.665s ahead of Rea, increasing his Championship lead to 44 points over Razgatlioglu.
“I’m really happy to get the victory in Race 1 here, especially after Race 2 in Magny-Cours that I couldn’t finish. To finish the race in first position was very special, to do it in front of my friends, family and fans was very nice. Today, the key was the tyre consumption. I didn’t have a good Superpole but in the end I could make a good start, so I got the lead from Turn 1. In that moment, it was difficult because I didn’t want to push too hard to not use and not stress the rear tyre. At the same time, I have to close the door to not let the other riders pass. It was a difficult situation. I had some touching with other riders behind me. In the end, I could manage, and I can get some advantage after a few laps. I started to ride more comfortably, more relaxed, and I can get my rhythm.”
P2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Rea was second in Race 1 – extending his winning drought to 13 races.
He now is only eight points shy of Razgatlioglu standing in third place in the standings.
“I feel like the weekend has been quite strong so far, being on the front row this morning and then in the race I had a reallyl good launch and I thought everyone is on fifth gear here, it’s Turn 1, relax, but it came out from everywhere in Turn 1. Rinaldi hit ne on the inside and that forced me wide, many people came through, so it was a little bit messy in the beginning. But it was frustrating then because I had completely lost the wheel of Alvaro and Toprak, I was in the big group behind, and they were going away. So, I had to exercise a lot of patience just to manage. Then I was stuck with Bassani on the Ducati and Lecuona with the Honda … he was fast on the straight. The strategy was to look after the tyre, but I thought where am I going to pass if I can’t line up the exit and abuse the tyre to get there. But the race came to me, lap by lap, the guys were dropping their rhythm a little bit. I don’t feel like I got faster, I just stayed more consistent. Toprak was coming back but his drop was quite severe. I could do a really good job at the end.”
P3 – Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team)
Gerloff took third position to claim his first podium of the 2022 season, the first one since Donington Park 2021.
The American claimed his sixth WorldSBK podium
“It’s been a long time! You never know when your last podium is going to be and for a while, I was thinking that Donington Park last year was going to be the last one. The team deserves to be here; it’s a world class team and they do a world class job. I’m happy to give them and the sponsors some media coverage!
“I just figured that this race would be a long one and that tyre degradation was a big thing around here. I saw everyone smoking tyres right from the first lap, and it was a sign to me to be easy on the gas. I lost some ground for not being as aggressive, but it seemed to pay off later in the race. When they started coming back to me, I was thrilled. To make some passes always feels nice!”
P4 – Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
Rinaldi finished just outside the podium 1.494s behind Gerloff but 2.785s seconds ahead of Razgatlioglu.
“During the Superpole I crashed, so I only had one lap. I started in tenth place. Then the race was quite strange. I started very well but then I didn’t have the pace at the beginning. And also, I went long in Turn 1, so I had to start again from P10. But I managed the tyre in a really good way and at the end I had more tyre and more speed than the ones in front of me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t pass Garrett or Jonny but I think that if I didn’t make that mistake at Turn 1, I could have finish in second place. We will try tomorrow.”
P5 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
Starting from eighth place on the grid, it was a top five finish for Razgatlioglu.
It was the first time in 17 races that Razgatlioglu did not lead a lap
The Reigning World Champion remains second in the Championship standings, but his advantage over Rea was reduced to eight points.
“In the race, I had a very good start, but the end wasn’t fantastic because of a fifth position finish. In the last ten laps, I felt the rear tyre have a big drop. I keep fighting for a good position. For me, P5 isn’t enough. Tomorrow, we will try to improve. For me, in this race it was a big problem. I tried to follow Bautista and lap times were very fast, 41’9 and low 42s. I think I used the rear tyre a little bit too much in the first laps, and after that it started to drop. Tomorrow, my plan is to start calmer because the rear tyre is important in the last six laps.”
P6 – Iker Lecuona (Team HRC)
Starting from pole position, his first one in WorldSBK, Lecuona was fighting at the front but dropped at the start of the race to take sixth place.
Lecuona went for an alternative tyre strategy, using Pirelli’s SC0 tyre
“Until this morning I was happy. I feel good with the bike, I feel fast. I can ride alone. In the Superpole, I didn’t expect to get the pole but I followed Jonathan and of course the reference helped me. But I have the speed and this is the positive, and also a lot of confidence in myself and the bike to have a good race. But until mid-race, I felt good, consistent. I went with the hard tyre and I managed the grip. But we always have the same problem, in the last laps we struggled a lot, in the last five laps I lost the podium. I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t have the tyre for this battle. I’m not happy, I’m frustrated. We need to solve this problem. It happens at every race and for me it’s the worst feeling.”
Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) was the lead BMW rider in 10th place.
Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) crashed at Turn 3 after contact with Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), with Bernardi re-joining the race, before bringing his bike back to the pits, and van der Mark continuing. Van der Mark will have a Long Lap penalty in the next race for irresponsible riding. On Lap 3, Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) crashed at Lap 1 which put the British rider out of the race. Van der Mark retired from the race after a technical issue on Lap 9 of 20.
WorldSBK action resumes on Sunday from 09:00 (Local Time), followed by Tissot Superpole Race at 11:00 and Race 2 at 15:15.