The Ducati rider bounced back after his DNF in the Tissot Superpole Race to take the win ahead of Razgatlioglu and Vierge
Alvaro Bautista claimed his 37th WorldSBK win in an interrupted Race 2. He heads to the first European Round as the Championship leader with 87 points and a 37-point advantage in the standings.
P1 | | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
“In Race 2, starting from tenth position was not easy especially because, on this track, it’s not easy to pass. In a normal situation, there aren’t a lot of points to overtake other riders but with this condition with only a small line of good grip, it’s almost impossible. I tried to remain focused at the beginning. When they showed the red flag, I started from fourth place and maybe the lines got a bit easier.
I had to start with the harder rear tyre because we didn’t have more softs. I had to choose between a hard with two laps on it or a soft with eight laps on. We put the hard tyre on and tried to adapt. I tried to stay calm at the beginning. When I saw Rinaldi go away, I thought he had a really good pace. It was a good reference for me to get some advantage on Toprak. I was catching him but at Turn 1 I made a mistake and went a bit wide. I lost more than one second, so I lost a lot of distance to Rinaldi. I didn’t think I could catch him but in the last laps I saw drop him a lot. I tried to keep my pace. When I caught him, my pace was much faster, but I didn’t want to risk an overtake. I waited a couple of laps just to be sure that, when I pass him, I did it in a safe place without risk for him or for me. I’m so happy because, from a really difficult start today, we came back and we showed that we are strong this year. I’m happier with this victory than the other ones.”
Xavi Vierge secured his maiden podium finish for Honda with third place, finishing 3.050s behind the race winner.
P3 | Xavi Vierge | Team HRC
“You can’t believe how happy I am, we have worked so hard since last year, but we always missed something to fight for that position! The start of the season in Australia was so hard but team supported me and here in Indonesia, they gave me a bike that I could recover the feeling and speed! During the weekend, we’ve improved. Finally, we’ve got it! The team had an amazing plan, and I could finish in third position, which is a victory for everyone at the moment. We gave it everything until the last lap.”
WorldSBK Race 2 Report
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s visit to the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit for the Motul Indonesian Round featured another dramatic race in Race 2 as Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) fought back to claim victory in Indonesia in a red-flagged Race 2 after battling with teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi. It was also a memorable race for Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) as he claimed his first WorldSBK podium after a strong Indonesian Round.
The original race was red flagged at the start of Lap 8 after an incident at Turn 11 involving Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) with both riders retiring from the race and unable to take the restart. Van der Mark was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. The starting grid for the restarted race was based on the last completed timing point for every rider and the race distanced reduced to 14 laps for the restarted race.
Rinaldi started the restarted race from pole position and, despite losing momentum at the start, was able to hold that throughout the opening laps of the 14-lap race. The gap was at over one second at when Bautista passed Razgatlioglu before the reigning Champion started closing in on teammate and by Lap 11, he had closed the gap back down to a tenth. Bautista made the move on his teammate on Lap 13 of 14 at Turn 10 to move into the lead of the race. On the final lap, Rinaldi ran wide at Turn 10 and lost two positions to Razgatlioglu and Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) in third place with Vierge taking his first WorldSBK podium after claiming third place after he started the restarted race from third on the grid. He was running in the chasing group throughout Race 2 and was able to take advantage of Rinaldi running wide to move into the podium places behind Razgatlioglu, who had been fighting for the podium throughout the restarted race.
Rinaldi ended up in fourth place and less than a second clear of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) in fifth place with the two Italians separated by just 0.780s at the end of the race. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) continued his impressive Indonesian Round with sixth place with Petrucci less than a second behind Locatelli in sixth place. Locatelli had briefly led the original race but lost ground shortly afterwards, dropping him down the order on the grid for the restarted race.
WorldSBK will return with the Pirelli Dutch Round taking place from the 21st to the 23rd of April at the TT Circuit Assen.