The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship racing action got underway with a shortened 20-lap Race 1 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round as Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) led teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi as the pair sported a special yellow livery in Race 1. Bautista had a five-second margin over his teammate has he made it 12 wins from 13 races in 2023 while Rinaldi added to his Misano podium count.
Podium fights: Yellow replaces red on the rostrum…
As the lights went out for the 20-lap race, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Rinaldi looked to have got a better start compared to Bautista but the reigning Champion was able to hold on from the pair to keep the lead from pole position. The trio fought it out over the early laps of the race with Razgatlioglu aiming to pass Rinaldi around the outside into Turn 4 with the Italian defending to keep second place.
As the race settled down, Bautista and Rinaldi were both able to gap Razgatlioglu in first and second place respectively to claim a home victory for Ducati on a special liveried Panigale V4 R, with the bike running yellow colours rather than red to pay homage to Ducati’s history. The win was Bautista’s 44th win in WorldSBK and his fourth at Misano, while Rinaldi equalled his podium tally from 2022 with second place to take his fourth podium of the season. It was also the first win for a yellow Ducati since Sylvain Guintoli at Assen in 2012.
While the two Ducati riders checked out in front, Razgatlioglu had to withstand some early pressure from Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) but the 2021 Champion was able to resist that pressure before pulling out a gap over his rivals. As the race hit the halfway stage, Petrucci dropped Bassani behind him and started gaining on Razgatlioglu in the podium fight. By Lap 12, Ragatlioglu started pulling away from the Italian rookie to claim third place. Razgatlioglu’s third place means he closes in on a century of WorldSBK podium while it was Yamaha’s 349th race on the podium.
Fierce fights: Hard-fought race off the podium
It had looked Petrucci would claim fourth place, but his race ended when he crashed on Lap 15 at Turn 8, with his Panigale V4 R ending up in the gravel and his race was over. This promoted Bassani to fourth place as he equalled his best result of the season while the battle for fifth raged on behind him between Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). On the penultimate lap, Aegerter tried to make a move at Turn 14 and looked like he got ahead of Rea but he ran wide and allowed Rea through. He then tried to make a move at Turn 8 on the final lap, but, again, ran wide to allow Rea to keep fifth place.
Completing the top ten: Aiming to build on Sunday
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) battled up the order to claim seventh place after a fight with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) in the early stages of the race, with the Spaniard having to resist Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) behind him after he passed the Australian rookie. Lecuona was able to hold off Gardner to claim eighth place ahead of Gardner in ninth, while Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) rounded out the top ten.
Scoring points: Hoping for a top ten on Sunday
Vierge was involved in a race-long with Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) with the Spaniard coming out on top ahead of Redding, who finished 11th but missed out on a spot in the top ten by just three tenths of a second. It was a difficult race for Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) who, until today, had finished every race in the top seven in 2023. He took 12th in Race 1, finishing ahead of Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) who put in a late charge to pass Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) in 14th. Home rider Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) rounded out the points with 15th place.
Housekeeping: To note from Race 1
Tom Sykes (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) narrowly missed out on points on his return to BMW as he finished in 16th place, finishing almost a second down on Baldassarri. He was able to finish ahead of Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) who overcame a three-place grid penalty for irresponsible riding in FP3 to take 17th place ahead of Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) in 18th. Ray had to start from the pitlane after an issue on the grid which delayed the start and reduced the race duration from 21 laps to 20.
Tito Rabat (Barni Spark Racing Team) was 19th on his return to WorldSBK action, 16 seconds down on Ray ahead of him, while he was six seconds clear of compatriot Isaac Vinales (TPR by Vinales Racing) in 20th place. Ryo Mizuno (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) finshed his maiden WorldSBK race in 21st place.
Luca Vitali (Orelac Racing MOVISIO), replacing the injured Oliver Konig, and wildcard Gabriele Ruiu (Bmax Racing) both did not complete a lap of Race 1. Hafizh Syahrin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) brought his Honda machine into the pits in the first half of the race to retire from Race 1.
The top six from WorldSBK Race 1
1 Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +5.221s
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +8.971s
4. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +14.285s
5. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +18.595s
6. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +19.021
Fastest Lap: Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) – 1’33.901s
Reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista was one of two riders to use the SCX tyre as everyone else opted for the new SCQ at Misano
A tyre gamble for Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) paid off in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round as he used Pirelli’s SCX tyre to victory while his rivals used the SCQ. With the red flags deployed on Lap 8 of 10, Bautista timed an overtake perfectly on Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) to take his second victory of the weekend.
Shortened race but gamble pays off: Differing tyre choices
Once again, Razgatlioglu looked to get a better start than Bautista but the reigning Champion was able to resist the pressure into Turn 1, before Razgatligolu passed him ay Turn 4. The switched positions on Lap 3 when Bautista made the move into Curvone before Toprak again passed him at Turn 4 on Lap 5. On Lap 8, Bautista was able to get ahead again, and the red flags were deployed moments later after a Lap 7 crash involving Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) at Turn 8, meaning he claimed his second win of the weekend at Misano ahead of Razgatlioglu. The Turkish rider used the start to stay ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in third, with the trio sharing the front row for Race 2. Lecuona and Petrucci were taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash.
Second row start for race two: Just missing out on a podium
Fourth place went to Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) after he battled with Rinaldi in the early stages of the race, with Bassani passing Rinaldi on Lap 2 before Rinaldi responded immediately to deny Bassani a home podium. Two Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK riders will join Bassani on the second row for Race 2 with Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes in fifth and sixth respectively in the shortened eight-lap Superpole Race.
Moving up: Taking a third-row grid place
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) will line up in Race 2 from seventh place after he passed Lecuona on Lap 7 into Turn 1, giving him a third row start for Race 2. He was ahead of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) in eighth while Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) was the main beneficiary of the Petrucci-Lecuona incident as he secured ninth place in the Superpole Race, giving him a third row start for Race 2 as he finished as the highest-placed BMW rider.
Housekeeping: To note from the Superpole Race
It was a difficult race for the GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team with Dominique Aegerter finishing 23rd, the last of the classified riders, and Remy Gardner retiring from the race after a collision with Petrucci at Turn 2 on Lap 1 when in the top ten. The incident was investigated by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards with Petrucci given a Long Lap Penalty for his role in the collision. Gardner was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash.
The top nine from the Tissot Superpole Race
1 Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.101s
3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.738s
4. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +2.239s
5. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.390s
6. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.955s
7. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
8. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC)
9. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW)
Bautista completes Misano hat trick with race two victory
The Spanish rider dropped back to third to start with, but he was able to fight back to claim victory wearing Ducati’s special yellow livery
There were fights up and down the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship grid during Race 2 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round as Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed a stunning win to take a Misano hat-trick wearing a special yellow livery for Ducati, while his teammate, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, crashed out from third place when fighting for the podium.
Fighting for the podium: Drama during Race 2…
As the lights went out, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) got the holeshot to lead into Turn 1 before Rinaldi battled his way through on his teammate at Turn 4 to move into second. However, it did not take long for Bautista to head to the front of the field as he overtook his teammate and then went through on Razgatlioglu at Turn 8 on Lap 2. From there, he was able to build a gap to Razgatlioglu behind him as the Turkish star found himself under pressure from Rinaldi.
That pressure soon told for Razgatlioglu as the pair battled it out for second place before Rinaldi overtook the 2021 Champion heading into Turn 8 on Lap 3. Despite Rinaldi pulling away, Razgatlioglu started closing the gap but, by the halfway point of the race, Rinaldi had stabilised the gap slightly to around three tenths. On Lap 13, Razgatlioglu again closed the gap on Rinaldi as he looked to take second place from the home hero. Razgatlioglu made his overtake on Rinaldi at Turn 8 on Lap 15 to move into second but Rinaldi kept the pressure on, with the pair making contact at Turn 1 when Rinaldi looked to re-gain second place; Rinaldi’s race ended when he went into the gravel.
Originally a battle for fourth but turning into a podium fight after Rinaldi’s crash, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) went head to head with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Rea got ahead in the early stages before Bassani responded on Lap 3 to move ahead of Rea to claim what turned into third place to claim his first podium on home soil and his first of the 2023 campaign as he pulled out a gap over Rea behind him.
Bautista’s victory gave him his 46th win in WorldSBK and is now on a streak of 10 consecutive wins in WorldSBK, while he also has 14 wins in 15 races this season with his fourth hat-trick of the season. It means he is the first rider to win 14 victories in the first 15 races of the season. Razgatlioglu is now even closer to 100 podiums, with 96 to his name following his Race 2 second place, while it is also Yamaha’s best ever streak of podiums at 15 races. Bassani claimed his fifth podium in WorldSBK, his first since San Juan last year.
Fending off rivals: Strong fights throughout the field
Rea claimed fourth place after losing touch with Bassani as the race progressed, but he was able to finish more than two seconds clear of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) in fifth place as he enjoyed a strong Emilia-Romagna Round. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) came home in sixth place after fending off Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) in the closing stages of the race to take six, finishing a second behind Vierge and 0.245s clear of Petrucci in seventh after he bounced back from two incidents in the Tissot Superpole Race.
Mixed emotions: Ups and downs
American star Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) claimed eighth place and finished as the top BMW rider in Race 2 after a race-long battle with Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven), with the American coming through on the final lap to take eighth place. Oettl was ninth at the end of the race, only 0.350s down on Gerloff at the end of the 21-lap race, while Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and teammate Dominique Aegerter had a fight for 10th place; the Australian having the better of Aegerter after they were involved in a crash in the Superpole Race.
Taking home points: Finishing in the top 15
Aegerter had a nine second advantage over Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) who claimed 12th place despite having to start from the back of the grid. On the sighting lap, Baz had a technical issue with his M1000RR machine, and he was able to bring it back to the pits and, while he was able to start the race, he started from last place. Baz was at the front of a trio of BMW riders with Tom Sykes (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in 13th with the 2013 Champion finishing ahead of teammate Scott Redding in 14th. Redding had been fighting in the top ten in the early stages of the race, but he dropped down the order as the race progressed, finishing 14 seconds behind Sykes. Hafizh Syahrin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) was the final points scorer with 15th place, while Isaac Vinales (TPR by Vinales Racing) was the last classified rider in 16th place.
Housekeeping: To note from Race 2
Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was the first retirement of the race when he had a technical problem at Turn 8 on the opening lap. On Lap 3, Ryo Mizuno (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) ceashed out of the race at Turn 4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was running in the top six during the first third of the race but a Turn 4 crash put him out of the race. Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) retired after a crash at the Turn 1-2 chicane when fighting for a strong points position, while Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) brought his bike into the pits at the end of Lap 19. Gabriele Rui (Bmax Racing) did not race in Race 2.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 2
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +8.446s
3. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +18.368s
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +20.174s
5. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) +22.344s
6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +23.307s
Fastest Lap: Alvaro Bautista, Ducati – 1’33.936s
1 Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 298 points
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 212
3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 150
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 129
5. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) 126
6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 99