The 2022 WorldSBK Champion claimed his 16th win of the season in the final race of the season
Race 1 highlights – WorldSBK
P1 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
Starting from pole position following his Tissot Superpole Race win, Bautista claimed the last win of the 2022 season, his 16th overall this season.
He was leading Rea by 0.357s when the race was red flagged after 17 completed laps.
He scored a total of 601 points in his title winning season.
“Today was amazing! In the Superpole Race, it was quite wet, but the experience I had from MotoGP™, I knew that it could maybe dry very fast. I took a big gamble because it was too wet. Race 2 was again so fun with the bike. Today, everything was normal so I could push from the beginning. I lost a lot of positions in the beginning and then I got the lead. To make my pace, the pace was quite acceptable, and Jonathan was just behind. I expected a big battle, especially in the last two laps, but unfortunately the red flag stopped the race. I think it has been the best way to end this amazing season. I’m so happy. Now we have to celebrate and now we have to prepare for next season.”
P2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Rea finished second in Race 2 for his 245th podium place.
With 502 points, Rea finished in third place in the standings.
“We know the result. I gave everything. We can be quite satisfied with our efforts this weekend to go 1-3-2. Good overall points for the weekend. The conditions were almost like nothing I’ve ever seen in my career! Tyre decisions, pit stops, red flag in Race 2 with the conditions coming in. From my weekend, I’m really happy with my team and the way I’m riding the bike. Even in Race 2 with Alvaro, I felt stronger everywhere but the start-finish line. They were taking so much time, but through Turn 1, Turn 2 and even Turn 3, with the traction, an area we’ve really struggled with in the past, I had more grip and the tyre was very linear. Big thanks to my team. Looking forward now to a little bit of rest before we start focusing on 2023. We can be satisfied with our work this year.”
P3 – Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Lowes took third place for his second podium of the weekend.
He finished the season with 272 points standing in sixth place in the Championship standings.
“I’m really happy with the weekend, happy with the second podium this year. We’ve made some improvement in the middle of the year. I’ve been pretty competitive minus Mandalika, we’ve been strong every weekend. Today’s race was good. I was nervous because the weather has been changing so fast. In the race I was trying to check the clouds and understand what was happening. In the mid-part of the race, Jonathan and Alvaro just got away a little bit. I had some battles with Toprak and I couldn’t really get past him. And then I was trying to think about the end of the race, save some tyre to battle with him in the last two laps and then obviously we had the red flag. I really hope both of the guy are ok. But for me, it’s been a good weekend, nice way to finish, it gives me some confidence going into winter and on to next season.”
P4 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
Razgatlioglu was fourth missing the podium for 0.413s.
529 points claimed this season gave Razgatlioglu second place in the standings.
“We tried in every session to find good grip. We tried our best. In Race 2, after 10 laps, I felt a big drop with the rear tyre. I saw Alex pushing a lot, and after two laps I saw him starting to spin a lot. I thought ‘ok in the last two laps, I’ll pass him’ and I saw the red flag. But I’m really happy for him. He needed a bonus because he has two babies! He’s a very good guy and he was very strong this weekend. We finished the last race of the season in fourth position. Anyway, we’re second in the Championship standings.”
P5 – Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
Locatelli was fifth in Race 2 also securing fifth place in the standings for his second season in WorldSBK.
“For sure we finished the season in a really good way. This is very important to start testing this winter and to start 2023 in a good way. I’m really happy about the last two rounds. But I am little bit disappointed with some rounds, like Barcelona … maybe we could have fought for third place in the Championship … but anyway we finished a difficult season in fifth place, so we need to be happy, we need to look forward and we need to prepare next season and I think we will come back really strong. For sure, we improved.”
P6 – Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
Redding concluded his first season with BMW with a top six finish.
He occupies eighth position in the Championship standings for his first season with BMW.
“Interesting race actually. I got off to a flying start which is something we’ve been working on this year. This weekend I found something that helped me with the start. So, it was quite good, and we had a great start. I struggled a lot this weekend and I tipped in to Turn 1 and thought ‘it’s the last race, give everything you’ve got’. I was hanging out there in the front for a bit, that was pretty good. I challenged for the lead a few times and then the tyre start becoming an issue. I started dropping back which was a shame because I felt pretty good. I was happy with the Sunday. Both races turned out alright after a really tough weekend.”
The race was red flagged after a collision involving Xavi Fores (BARNI Spark Racing Team) and Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) at Turn 1, with Laverty taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash but he was conscious. Laverty was diagnosed with a pelvic injury and taken to Alfred Hospital in Melbourne by helicopter for further assessments.
Tetsuta Nagashima (Team HRC) rounded out a strong debut weekend as he stood in for Iker Lecuona with ninth place in Race 2, scoring a total of 13 points.