2022 Estoril World Superbike Race One Result: Cold Track, Hot Race

World Superbike race one was twenty one laps on a cold track as the clouds held off the sun a a 19ºC and 31ºC track. Jonathan Rea fitted the development front tyre and a harder rear than his direct competition. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu hit the lead first, beating Jonathan Rea to the first turn as the Ducatis of Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi missed the apex letting Andrea Locatelli claim third place. Ahead of Bautista, Alex Lowes and Scot Redding. After a lap, the leading four were just under a second clear of Scott Redding and Iker Lecuona. Alvaro Bautista looked for a way past Locatelli as Razgatlioglu and Rea started breaking away. Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap and passed Razgatlioglu before the finish line only for Razgatlioglu to take the lead back into turn one on the brakes. 

After missing the apex at turn five, Razgatlioglu slowed slightly and Rea hit the Yamaha's rear tyre sending smoke from his front tyre, but both of them escaped without incident and the pair resumed their escape attempt, clearing over a second from Locatelli. 

At the start of lap five, Rea had set another fastest lap, a 1'36.204, half a second behind Razgatlioglu. Behind the leading pair, Bautista took third from Locatelli down the straight, starting the lap two seconds off Rea. A lap later and he was two and a half seconds off the leading pair, but no longer had Locatelli in his slipstream. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu went wide, lifting his rear too high for it to land properly, and let Jonathan Rea past only to have Rea go wide at turn six but remaining in the lead. Razgatlioglu caught up and started hounding Rea throughout lap seven. 

Lap eight and Rea led Razgatlioglu over the line but Razgatlioglu blocked him into turn one on the brakes, the pair at the limit of adhesion. Bautista was two and a half seconds behind with Locatelli almost two seconds further back. Scott Redding held off Iker Lecuona to keep his grip on fifth place. 

Lap nine and Rea led over the line as Razgatlioglu led into turn one again, but Rea tried to lean on Razgatlioglu and overtake on the outside. Razgatlioglu led Rea but the pair were constantly wishing a tenth or two through out the lap. Rea once more took the lead over the line at the start of lap ten, but Rea held the inside line to take the lead from his rival and hold it through the first few turns as Alvaro Bautista closed to within two seconds as the leading pair duelled. 

At half race distance, Jonathan Rea led Toprak Razgatlioglu by under a tenth of a second with Alvaro Bautista almost two seconds behind. Andrea Locatelli was four seconds further back, two and a half seconds clear of Scott Redding and Iker Lecuona. 

At the start of lap eleven, Razgatlioglu once again took the lead into turn one, leading Rea throughout the lap by under two tenths of a second. Alvaro Bautista was the only rider in the 1'36s, metronomically maintaining his pace, as he closed to just over a second from the fight at the front. 

Lap thirteen, with Jonathan Rea leading Toprak Razgatlioglu, Alvaro Bautista closed to within a second as the leaders tripped each other up at the start of the lap. Bautista closed three tenths of a second lap after lap until he was close to their slipstream at the start of lap fourteen where the pair swapped the lead once more. 

Scott Redding and Iker Lecuona closed to within two seconds of fourth-placed Andrea Locatelli who was over eight seconds from the soon-to-be three way fight at the front. Toprak Razgatlioglu took the lead into turn one, as it was his turn, as Bautista finally closed the gap to sit in the clean air behind the duo to start lap sixteen as a threesome.

Lecuona took fifth place from Redding, two seconds from Locatelli as Razgatlioglu shooed Rea off the line into turn one, taking the lead and allowing Bautista to take second place from Rea. Razgatlioglu escaped at the front only for Bautista and Rea to close up before the lap was up. 

With four laps to go, Razgatlioglu led Bautista as Rea dropped off the leading pair with Locatelli over eleven seconds off the pace in fourth place. Behind Locatelli, Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge held off Scott Redding in the fight for fifth place. 

With three laps to go, Rea looked like he had no tyre left to fight for the win, as Bautista challenged Razgatlioglu for the lead, unable to pass on the brakes. Razgatlioglu looked very much at the limit with Bautista holding some rubber in reserve for the last few laps. Bautista powered past Bautista down the straight but he lost out to the defending world champion into turn one on the brakes. 

The last lap, Bautista tucked into behind Razgatlioglu down the straight, but couldn't pass him in to turn one and Razgatlioglu couldn't get close enough on the brakes, turn after turn. Turn six and turn nine, the overtake spots, Razgatlioglu held off Bautista on the brakes, but coming out of the last turn, Razgatlioglu's Yamaha lifted the front wheel as Bautista drifted out of the last turn to pass him down the straight under power. Razgatlioglu watched Bautista and shook his head as Bautista drove past to steal the win in the last few metres. 

Alvaro Bautista took a calculated win, refusing to let go of Toprak Razgatlioglu, while Jonathan Rea took a careful third place having run out of tyres, finishing almost five seconds further back. Andrea Locatelli sat in a comfortable fourth place, two seconds clear of Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona. Alex Lowes took seventh place, ahead of Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi. Eurosport's Xavi Fores took a respectable eleventh place, behind Loris Baz. 

The championship lead was increased as Alvaro Bautista extended his lead to twenty seven points over Jonathan Rea and fifty points over Toprak razgatlioglu. Andrea Locatelli maintains fourth place ahead of Iker Lecuona and Michael Ruben Rinaldi. 

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 19 A. BAUTISTA Ducati Panigale V4R  
2 1 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1 0.126
3 65 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 4.835
4 55 A. LOCATELLI Yamaha YZF R1 12.244
5 97 X. VIERGE Honda CBR1000 RR-R 19.107
6 7 I. LECUONA Honda CBR1000 RR-R 19.215
7 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 21.956
8 45 S. REDDING BMW M1000RR 23.090
9 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4R 1.014
10 76 L. BAZ BMW M1000RR 25.212
11 12 X. FORES Ducati Panigale V4R 27.516
12 47 A. BASSANI Ducati Panigale V4R 30.686
13 29 L. BERNARDI Ducati Panigale V4R 39.599
14 3 K. NOZANE Yamaha YZF R1 39.643
15 50 E. LAVERTY BMW M1000RR 41.735
16 17 M. FRITZ Yamaha YZF R1 41.854
17 44 L. MAHIAS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 42.790
18 23 C. PONSSON Yamaha YZF R1 50.082
19 35 H. SYAHRIN Honda CBR1000 RR-R 1'08.940
20 52 O. KONIG Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1'08.979
21 32 I. VINALES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 2 Laps
RET 36 L. MERCADO Honda CBR1000 RR-R  
Round Number: 
3
2022
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Comments

Dia bom a good day of racing in Portugal. That superbike race was a classic!

First corner excitement, but not carnage. Alvaro dived in a bit too hot, managed to keep it tidy & on the tarmac.

The racing kept on providing thrills. Jonny & Toprak back and forth regularly. AB19 behind Andrea Locatelli, looking fast, but the gap? Could Bautista get onto the podium? Would Alvaro hang back behind JR & TR to protect that championship lead? Maybe.

Baustista might settle for a podium, no? Jonny & SToprak pushing like two speed demons & the Ducati catching up, but could he pass? Rea too deep into turn 1 opened the door for Toprak & Alvaro. Rather uncharacteristic of JR65. There were on the ragged edge.

Of course Toprak & Alvaro took that opportunity and ran with it. Would AB take the lead? Well he made a big effort several times to get there. Toprak always had an answer, until what might have been a celebratory wheelie let Bautista take the last gasp win.

If someone made up a drama translating "the Hero's journey" into motorcycle racing it would be much like this race. But nobody could dream up a story like SBK race 1 at Estoril 2022. I enjoyed it immensely.

Forza Ducati!

In the Superpol report it said Xavi Fores was pulled off Eurosport commentary duties and plonked on a Ducati to replace an injured Philipp Oettl. Pretty impressive that he went on to finish 11th in the race. Whats his story? 

Xavi Fores has been around forever in the GP and Superbike paddocks. Don’t recall him ever challenging for a title, but he’s solid. He currently races in MotoE and he’s Oettl’s teammate in the FIM Endurance World Championship where they both ride a Panigale. Tires are much different in EWC, and the bikes are a bit different too, but Fores has done a lot of laps on the V4 in anger.

Cheers. Thanks for the background info. I’m just getting into WSBK.

Again, Xavi Fores is the best of the customer Ducati riders. Just like old times. Even after being pulled from announcer duties halfway through the race weekend.

Classic. 

Wow, great racing this season here! 

Painful big highside this morning for Gerloff. Poor guy. Open wound on his knee even through all that armor and leather. VdM hit just as hard, broken femur needing surgery. Ouch! Speedy recovery guys.

Very interested in the bikes on display in battle. And what a display it is! Sheezus they are hitting hard and often. Rea and Toprak esp are brawlers. Bautista is aggressive too. He seems well alight so I don't understand the fuses coming out of his head.

The bright yellow special BMW livery makes it visible. It is moving around more than the others. A bit of that is Redding's style, but moreso a less sorted and stable bike. The chassis has been praised in other settings like the TT's. Curious about the bike if you have thoughts.

That this year's WSBK seems more exciting than that very much more prominent other series? And even more potentially unspeakable, that the lack of aero is what is making for more overtaking and even slipstreaming? To have three such hard, brilliant riders on three different bikes is just what we need.  

Terrific racing from the top three ... shame it's not closer behind them. Still fantastic to watch.