Álvaro Bautista restored his authority over the competition to collect a second hard fought WorldSBK victory of the weekend at Donington Park in a race marred by a huge lap one accident involving Tom Sykes and Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Having seen a magnificent 11-race winning streak come to an end in the earlier Superpole Race by a victorious Razgatlioglu, Bautista and his Yamaha rival would once again square off in a spirited battle that provided entertainment for some laps.
Indeed, the lively scrap would provide something of a tonic for the crowd in a race that had been restarted following a huge lap one incident involving Sykes, Rinaldi and Loris Baz.
Triggered by Sykes losing the rear of his BMW M 1000 RR at the top of the fast Coppice right-hander coming onto the back straight, the Englishman was flicked into an enormous high-side with a heavy landing that appeared to leave him initially stricken. Minutes later he was seen sat up on his knees, albeit clearly in pain and discomfort as he leaned forward wincing, with Baz - who seemed unhurt - assisting his team-mate.
Of similar concern was Rinaldi, who was running directly behind Sykes and appeared to strike the somersaulting BMW before getting himself caught up in that and his own Ducati as he bundled into the gravel trap. With medical crews surrounding him for some time before transferring him to an ambulance, Aruba.it Ducati has since tweeted "No reasons to be scared of", according to the Medical Centre.
With the race shortened to 22 laps, Bautista picked up where he left off at the red flag by once again getting the hole-shot into Turn 1.
However, with rivals determined not to let the Spaniard get into his rhythm and exercise the substantial advantage he has shown over his rivals in clear air especially this season, Bautista found himself having to work hard for his 16th win of the year.
With Razgatlioglu getting a good run on him out of the chicane on lap two, he wedged his Yamaha up the inside of his rival coming into the Melbourne hairpin, while Jonathan Rea - sensing his opportunity - followed through into second, though not before frightening Bautista into sitting up.
It was an order the trio would maintain for the next few laps with Rea working hard to find a way through on Razgatlioglu, the Turk seemingly happy not to push too hard as he backed them into what became a seven-way lead group.
With Bautista also biding his time, his pass on Rea at the chicane of lap ten was the starter pistol for Razgatlioglu to up his pace, the 2021 WorldSBK Champion immediately stretching clear with the Spaniard in hot pursuit.
With Razgatlioglu unable to shake the shadowing Ducati behind him, Bautista launched his first wave of attack into Redgate with ten laps remaining, only for his rival to come right back at him at the Old Hairpin to reclaim the lead.
Going on to repeat his pass on the run down to turn one next time around, a tighter line at the bottom of the Craner Curves was wise enough for Bautista to hold sway at the second time of asking.
From here, Bautista unleashed his full speed as Razgatlioglu's challenge faded, the defending champion easing across the line almost three seconds clear of his rival to recover and extend any ground lost in his Superpole Race blip.
With Rea's feisty challenge fading once he was overtaken by Bautista, he instead slipped into the clutches of a hungry chasing pack led by Danilo Petrucci, the Italian putting aside a tardy start that left him seventh to claw his way back to third.
Signalling a first WorldSBK podium for the two-time MotoGP race winner, third place meant a first podium for the Barni Ducati team since 2018 when Javi Fores finished second in Argentina.
On a weekend that has seen him persistently battle his way up the order from a lowly starting position, Scott Redding's determination was rewarded with a fine fourth place finish, the Briton coming on strong in the latter stages to pick off four riders in the final ten laps for his and BMW best result of the year.
Going in the other direction, Rea and Kawasaki team-mate Alex Lowes had to make do with fifth and sixth, ahead of Axel Bassani in seventh, the Italian getting the better of countryman Andrea Locatelli on the final lap.
Garrett Gerloff ran fifth in the early stages after a good start before eventually slipping back to ninth, just ahead of Philipp Oettl rounding out the top ten.
Picking up the final points' paying positions were Dominique Aegerter in 11th, Remy Gardner in 12th, home favourite Bradley Ray in 13th, Iker Lecuona in 14th and Hafizh Syahrin in 15th
|2023 British WorldSBK | Donington Park | Race 2 Results | Round 6 of 12|
|1||Alvaro Bautista||ESP||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||22 Laps|
|2||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||+2.650|
|3||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||Barni Spark Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+7.936|
|4||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||+9.198|
|5||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+9.506|
|6||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+9.960|
|7||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+10.292|
|8||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||+10.537|
|9||Garrett Gerloff||USA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+11.036|
|10||Philipp Oettl||GER||Go Eleven||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+14.317|
|11||Dominique Aegerter||CHE||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||+17.697|
|12||Remy Gardner||AUS||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||+23.762|
|13||Bradley Ray||GBR||Motoxracing||Yamaha R1||+24.052|
|14||Iker Lecuona||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+24.543|
|15||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+48.163|
|16||Isaac Vinales||ESP||TPR by Vinales Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+50.201|
|17||Oliver Konig||CZE||Orelac Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1m >|
|18||Eric Granado||BRA||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+1m >|
|19||Lorenzo Baldassarri||ITA||GMT 94||Yamaha R1||+1m >|
|DNF||Tito Rabat||ESP||Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|DNF||Xavi Vierge||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R|
|DNS||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R|
|DNS||Tom Sykes||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR|
|DNS||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR|