Bautista Near Perfect on Season wins in Indonesia
Alvaro Bautista does it again in Indonesia with wins in Race one and two. These victories did not come without a drama filled afternoon. With a win in race one Bautista sought to repeat his hat trick performance at Philip Island at Round 1. However a crash from P3 led to his demise in Superpole and a P10 start for race two. Nonetheless, Bautista bounced back fighting through a red flag in race 2 and jumped to second place after 5 laps and soon passed teammate Michael Rinaldi to take P1 after Rinaldi seeming had tire wear issues.
After the race Alvaro said, “It was an incredible day. Everything happened, first in the Superpole Race then in Race 2. I crashed in the morning because after Jonathan overtook me I went on the dirty part of the track. The start from tenth position in Race-2 was not easy also because this is a circuit that doesn’t offer many points to attack. Then, after the red flag, I thought I could not catch Rinaldi who had a very fast pace. In the end, though I got closer and I was able to take the first position. We have a lot of confidence and we want to continue to prove that we are competitive“.
Elsewhere on the grid TEAM HRC rider Xavie Vierge claimed his first WSBK Podium securing 3rd place with a +4.068s gap behind to Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Rinaldi who finished in 4th. Barni Spark Ducati Team and 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike runner up Danilo Petrucci finished P6 which is an improvement from his showing at Philip Island in Round 1 after suffering from a penalty after making contact with Xavi Vierge. Pata Yamaha Prometeon WSBK racer Toprak Razgatlioglu who won Superpole and finished both races in P2 seems to be the only rider at the moment who might be able to answer Bautista’s dominance thus far this season.
Razgatlioglu had a few words after the race regard his weekend, “This weekend for me was not so easy, because I am not starting strong. We try to find the best set-up but anyway, in the last race I am feeling the bike is much better than yesterday. In the Superpole Race I just try my best and finally win – this season I take first win in Mandalika! My focus was on the second race, because important for the points – just a bit unlucky with the red flag. If no red flag, maybe I am possible winning again because I already saw Rinaldi’s tire start to drop. Sometimes you understand the limit, you think – this position is good – but sometimes you have a chance to fight. In the end, we finished on the podium and I am happy. We will keep fighting for the podium and for the win – this year, all riders really strong but we have many races.”
Razgatlioglu’s teammate at Pata Yamaha Andrea Locatelli is worth honorable mention finishing P3 in race one and P5 in race two. Locatelli said after the race, “It was another great weekend because in the end we were on the podium twice. Unfortunately we lost another opportunity in Race 2 because of the red flag, I restarted further back after I went wide at Turn 12, but in general I am really happy because we were fast – we showed our speed in qualifying and the races and got a lot of good results, so I think we can be proud.
Race Results can be found here. It has been a stellar start to the 2023 season for Ducati in the manufacturers standings. The top 5 in the championship after round two are as follows:
|1||Alvaro Bautista||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||112|
|2||Toprak Razgatlioglu||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||75|
|3||Andrea Locatelli||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||70|
|4||Axel Bassani||Motocorsa Ducati||51|
|5||Michael Rinaldi||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||47|