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Bautista ends sketchy weekend on a high, apologises to team-mate Rinaldi for crash

Gold & Goose
Alvaro Bautista, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Aruba Racing, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2023 WorldSBK, action [Gold & Goose].jpg

Alvaro Bautista was relieved to conclude Round 9 of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship on the high of a victory after an incident-peppered two races prior to that at Magny-Cours.

Resuming action after the summer break, Bautista heads into the final portion of the 2023 season as the hot favourite to complete his second successive title.

However, having seen his grip on the trophy loosen on the back of a crash at Imola and struggles in changeable conditions at Most, the latest event at Magny-Cours would bring yet more drama to the Spaniard.


In race one, a moment at Turn 5 would cut out the Aruba Ducati Panigale V4 R’s engine but while Bautista would get going again, he’d need to fight from the back of the field to an eventual tenth place finish.

"It's a real shame because the feeling with the bike has been very positive since the morning. I got a good start but suddenly I felt that I couldn't get the maximum power. Then I realised that the engine shut down but when I stopped I read on the dashboard that I could restart. 

“I got back to the track and the bike was working as well as it could. So instead of going back to the pits I stayed on the track. I must say I also had a lot of fun. It's a shame, I repeat, but these things can happen.”

Alvaro Bautista, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Aruba Racing, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2023 WorldSBK, action [Gold & Goose]

In the Superpole Race, Bautista was then the guilty party in a clash with team-mate Michael Ruben Rinaldi after getting his braking wrong into the Adelaide hairpin and T-boning the Italian out of the race.

“We had a really good battle with Toprak and my teammate, Michael, but we had an incident at Turn 5. We arrived all together and, with the slipstream, I couldn’t stop the bike. 

“The slipstream absorbed me, and I tried to avoid the impact, but Toprak went inside, and Michael had to pick up the bike and, for that reason, I found him in my way. 

“It was unintentional and I’m sorry for Michael because he was really strong.”

Despite his issues in Race 1 and the Superpole Race, Bautista fought back in Race 2 with a comfortable victory, extending his record for wins in a season to 19.

It means he retains a clear 57 point margin over Toprak Razgatlioglu with three events and nine races remaining this season. 

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