Alvaro Bautista maintained his winning streak in a shortened WorldSBK Superpole Race at Misano, an encounter halted after just seven laps due to an incident involving Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona.
Following his dominant romp to victory in Race 1, Bautista was made to work substantially harder for his 13th win in 14 races, the defending champion embarking on a heated battle with Toprak Razgatlioglu that was only decided in his favour moments before the red flag.
Indeed, Bautista trailed his Yamaha counterpart initially after the Turk got the jump on him for the lead coming into Turn 4 on the opening lap. Though Bautista found his way through again on lap two, a ruthless Razgatlioglu pounced again on lap five to hit the front at the half-way stage.
However, in an extraordinary stroke of luck - fortuitous for Bautista, less so for Razgatlioglu - the Aruba.it Ducati rider slipped back ahead on lap six, the move coinciding with a tangle further back for Petrucci and Lecuona at Turn 8. With apparent concerns over the condition of Petrucci following the incident, the red flags were soon shown.
In the meantime, Bautista and Razgatlioglu crossed the line to begin lap seven with the Ducati man in front, so when the stoppage was announced and the results declared to the end of the last completed lap, it meant Bautista got the victory nod.
A chastening outcome for Razgatlioglu after arguably his most competitive show against his dominant rival this season, the margin between the pair now stands at 83 points with one more race to come this afternoon.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi completed the podium after prevailing in an early exchange of position with Axel Bassani early on, the latter Italian notching up another top independent win.
Jonathan Rea chased him across the line in fifth place, just +0.2s adrift of Bassani, with Alex Lowes on the second of the factory KRT Kawasakis completing the top six.
Andrea Locatelli made strides over his Race 1 performance to come home in seventh place, with Xavi Vierge and Garrett Gerloff benefiting from Petrucci and Lecuona's fracas ahead to seal the final points' paying positions in eighth and ninth.
Petrucci's abrupt exit came in a race where he'd already been involved in an incident at the start when he made contact with Dominique Aegerter to his outside as the field pinched for Turn 2. Sending Aegerter into a high-side, his exit stage right would in turn collect GYTR GTR Yamaha team-mate Remy Gardner, putting both out of contention.
Earning Petrucci a long lap penalty, his collision with Lecuona - at the corner where he crashed out of fourth place in Race 1 - came in the wake of having taken the punishment.
Misano WorldSBK - SUPERPOLE RACE RESULTS
|2023 Italian WorldSBK | Misano World Circuit | Superpole Race Results | Round 5 of 12|
|1||Alvaro Bautista||ESP||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||6 Laps|
|2||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||+0.101|
|3||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+0.738|
|4||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+2.239|
|5||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+2.490|
|6||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+3.955|
|7||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||+1 Lap|
|8||Xavi Vierge||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+1 Lap|
|9||Garrett Gerloff||USA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+1 Lap|
|10||Philipp Oettl||GER||Go Eleven||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+1 Lap|
|11||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||+1 Lap|
|12||Lorenzo Baldassarri||ITA||GMT 94||Yamaha R1||+1 Lap|
|13||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+1 Lap|
|14||Bradley Ray||GBR||Motoxracing||Yamaha R1||+1 Lap|
|15||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+1 Lap|
|16||Tito Rabat||ESP||Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1 Lap|
|17||Isaac Vinales||ESP||TPR by Vinales Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1 Lap|
|18||Luca Vitali||ITA||Orelac Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1 Lap|
|19||Ryo Mizuno||JPN||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+1 Lap|
|20||Tom Sykes||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||+1 Lap|
|21||Dominique Aegerter||CHE||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||+1 Lap|
|NC||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||Barni Spark Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R|
|NC||Iker Lecuona||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R|
|DNF||Gabriele Ruiu||ITA||B-Max Racing||BMW M 1000 RR|
|DNF||Remy Gardner||AUS||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1|