The last World Superbike race of the weekend took place on a resurfaced track with a very narrow track of rubber deposited on the fast line. To make it more tricky, the track was 61ºC and the air was a scorching 36ºC.
Jonathan Rea took the lead from Toprak Razgatlioglu into turn two with Andrea Locatelli in third place ahead of Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding. Bautista led Redding by over a second after lap one. Locatelli set the fastest lap on lap two, a 1'33.231, leading Bautista by under two tenths of a second.
Rea led Razgatlioglu, Locatelli and Bautista at the start of lap four with fifth placed Axel Bassani setting the fastest lap, a 1'32.974, as he tried to close the gap to fourth-placed Bautista. At the end of lap four, Bautista took third place off Locatelli as Bassani closed up to make the leading group five bikes long and passed Locatelli into turn ten, pushing Locatelli off the clean line.
Lap six, turn ten, Razgatlioglu passed Rea closely but cleanly to take the lead. Bautista was in third place, where if he finished he would take the title. Rea rode the kerbs in turn eight and nine and Bautista took advantage to slip top to second place. Bassani had a quick run through the first few turns and blasted past Rea into a corner to take third place. Bautista started looking past Razgatlioglu, sniffing for a pass, showing Razgatlioglu a wheel on a couple of corners near the end of lap eight.
Andrea Locatelli remained in touch with the fight for third place, within striking distance of Jonathan Rea and Axel Bassani as Bassani pulled the fight up to Bautista in second place.
At half race distance, over ten laps down, Razgatlioglu led Bautista by under three tenths of a second, with Jonathan Rea stringing turns ten and eleven together to power past Axel Bassani for third place. Andrea Locatelli was just over three quarters of a second behind the pass but over two seconds clear of Xavi Vierge and Garrett Gerloff behind him. Gerloff made a mistake and lost two places to Alex Lowes and Michael Ruben Rinaldi.
Jonathan Rea started lap thirteen over a second behind his rivals in front, with Bautista around two tenths of a second behind Razgatlioglu, looking for a way past. Rea made a mistake in turn fifteen and dropped back to over a second from the leaders after a good run to close the gap somewhat. Alvaro Bautista took the lead from Razgatlioglu but the Yamaha rider pushed into the inside of turn ten. Five turns later, Bautista pushed his Ducati into turn fifteen to take the lead back from Razgatlioglu to start lap fifteen of twenty one in the lead.
As Bautista and Razgatlioglu carried on scrapping, Rea caught them back up and had the best view of Razgatlioglu squirming on the dirty part of the track to outbrake Bautista into turn ten to take the lead back.
Alvaro Bautista could take the title with a third place finish, but he looked like only a win would be enough. Toprak Razgatlioglu set the fastest lap, a 1'32.846, on lap seventeen breaking away from Bautista and on lap eighteen, as Locatelli fought Bassani for fourth place, Razgatliolgu set another fastest lap, a 1'32.708.
After watching the Yamaha rider in front of him setting two consecutive fastest laps, it looked like Bautista knew to settle for second place and the title. Five seconds behind the leading trio, Bassani and Locatelli swapped places back and forth in a hard-fought battle for fourth place with Scott Redding over four seconds behind them.
Toprak Razgatlioglu started the last lap a second and a half clear of Alvaro Bautista who had almost a second over Jonathan Rea. The podium looked set and Bautista and Rea looked settled in their positions for the flag.
Toprak Razgatlioglu took pole position twice, a new lap record and all three wins of the weekend, but it wasn't enough to stop Alvaro Bautista claiming his first World Superbike Championship and giving Ducati their first title in eleven years and Bautista his first title in sixteen years.
On the cool down lap, Alvaro Bautista changed into a gold leather outfit with gold gloves and a gold helmet as his team changed the number on the front of the bike to match the number one used in marketing for their new Panigale V4. Michael Ruben Rinaldi stayed with the new champion, playing the loyal teammate. Bautista didn't make it to the end of his carpet in Parc Fermé, having a bit of an emotional moment on arrival. Bautista got hugs from Razgatlioglu, Rea and Bassani in Parc Fermé as Dorna tried to wrangle him to a microphone.
Jonathan Rea's third place was his 200th podium in World Superbike and while he is still mathematically in contention for second place in the championship, Toprak Razgatlioglu is thirty seven points ahead of him and is the on form rider. Alvaro Bautista leads the championship with sixty six points and he took time to thank Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea as "amazing" rivals.
|1||1||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Yamaha YZF R1|
|2||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4R||1.230|
|3||65||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||2.825|
|4||55||A. LOCATELLI||Yamaha YZF R1||4.770|
|5||47||A. BASSANI||Ducati Panigale V4R||8.205|
|6||45||S. REDDING||BMW M1000RR||12.478|
|7||97||X. VIERGE||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||15.245|
|8||31||G. GERLOFF||Yamaha YZF R1||17.574|
|9||22||A. LOWES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||17.976|
|10||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4R||1.722|
|11||12||X. FORES||Ducati Panigale V4R||21.980|
|12||60||M. VAN DER MARK||BMW M1000RR||22.218|
|13||76||L. BAZ||BMW M1000RR||36.192|
|14||35||H. SYAHRIN||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||41.465|
|15||52||O. KONIG||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||44.142|
|16||50||E. LAVERTY||BMW M1000RR||45.600|
|17||36||L. MERCADO||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||50.490|
|RET||11||K. SMITH||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||12|
|RET||3||K. NOZANE||Yamaha YZF R1||10|