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WorldSBK Aragon: Bautista’s back with race two win

Alvaro Bautista’s return to Aruba.it Ducati proved successful at Motorland Aragon as the Spaniard claimed a second dominant victory in race two.

Crossing the line over four seconds clear of his chasing rivals on his 100th WorldSBK race start, Bautista leaves his home race with the championship lead after an impressive Sunday showing. Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea and Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu completing the podium once again as the trio proved they were a step ahead of the rest.

Sunday’s final action saw Superpole race winner Bautista head the grid from usual suspects Rea and Razgatlioglu. Michael Rinaldi leading Andrea Locatelli and Alex Lowes on row two as the factory Ducati/Yamaha/Kawasaki battle continued with the warmest track temperatures of the weekend providing an easy choice on tyres for the 25-strong grid as the entirety opted for the SCX rear.


As the lights released, Rea swept through for the early lead while his KRT teammate went backwards. Lowes running seventh through the opening corners with Razgatlioglu firmly in the middle of the Ducati pairing from third.

Bautista took charge down the back straight as Lowes regrouped for sixth. Rinaldi picking off the defending champion for final podium potential as the next lap began before Rea took the lead through turn seven and Locatelli crashed out two corners later.

The Kawasaki had a pair of determined Ducatis firmly on his wheel as lap three played out. Rinaldi looking to challenge his teammate as his pace ignited until Bautista struck for the lead on the straight once again.

Rinaldi then Razgatlioglu pushed through on Rea as the next lap got underway, the two KRT’s now on the fightback in tandem from fourth and fifth.

Further Back Axel Bassani headed the Honda duo on his Motocorsa Ducati as this time Xavi Vierge bettered Iker Lecuona for team honours in the top eight. Loris Baz running lead BMW from GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff in the top ten.

A Ducati battle ensued with five laps dispatched. Bautista left with just three-tenths breathing space from the second Aruba man as Rea bettered Razgatlioglu in the third place fight, albeit over a second down on the pair out front.

The leading trio ran almost identical pace at third race distance, as Rea struggled to reel Rinaldi in. Baz getting through on the HRC machines to head the group at the back of the top ten. Scott Redding dropping to the back of the pack, after running off at the corkscrew due to a technical issue on the factory BMW.

10 to go and Bautista’s lead was up to eight-tenths of a second, a similar gap back to both Rea and Razgatlioglu in third and fourth as the front runners ran a fairly lonely race. Lowes and Bassani two seconds adrift of their nearest rivals on either side.

Rea regrouped as he returned to the wheel of the second-placed Ducati. Rinaldi running wide with the Kawasaki perfectly placed to capitalise on lap 11, 1.5s now the gap to bridge to the leader. Bautista’s answer was clear as the only rider running 1’50 pace as the race counted down. The gap increasing quickly, 2.3s the ask with six laps to go.


A late crash for Kohta Nozane dropped the Yamaha rider out of the points at turn seven as Razgatlioglu began his comeback out front. Rinaldi just a tenth away from the approaching Turk with less than four laps remaining as once again the Ducati rider found himself dumped off the podium in the closing stages.

Bautista revelled in a four second lead as the penultimate lap fired up, Rea and Razgatlioglu over a second clear in second and third with the pursuing three risers facing similarly lonely races. Baz the first to come under fire as the Frenchman looked to defend seventh on the Bonovo Action BMW.

The Spaniard’s Super Sunday on home soil was secure as the flag came out, the race two podium echoing the morning effort with Rinaldi heading Lowes and Bassani through in the top six. Baz held off the Honda’s threats as Vierge settled for eighth, Gerloff dispatching Lecuona in the final action as the pair rounded out the top ten.

Puccetti’s Lucas Mahias claimed 11th from the second Bonovo of Eugene Laverty and Go Eleven’s Philipp Oettl with Roberto Tamburini and Ilya Mikhalchik collecting the final championship points on the Motoxracing Yamaha and BMW respectively.

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