Jonathan Rea improves, Bautista Wins Again in Barcelona Race 1
Race 1 has come to a close for the Prosecco DOC Catalunya at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) completes secures his 9th win of the season further extending his championship lead. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) took out Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) who was seemingly the only rider on the heels of Bautista all through practice. The incident results in Rinaldi ending his race and Bassani finishing 7th. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) improved his championship standing with a third place finish in Race 1. Despite some complaints in free practice Rea seems to have found the pace to remain in podium contention. Kawasaki teammate Alex Lowes retired from the race.
On lap 4 of the race a red flag came out as Eric Granado PETRONAS MIE Racing HONDA Team crashed. The race was later reset to run for 17 laps. This restart played into Bautistas hands. Having had a poor start in the first start Bautista was able to get away in the Race 1 restart and secure another win on what seems like an unstoppable performance in 2023. Bautista broke the lap record in Superpole. He does not appear to be slowing down this weekend with the Superpole Race and Race 2 still up for grabs. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea share their 4th podium together in 2023. Razgatlioglu teammate Andrea Locatelli finish 4th and Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in 5th. Three Yamahas finished in the top 5.
Danilo Petrucci who was just announced as the fill in rider for the MotoGP injured Ducati rider Enea Bastianini was only able to finish 10th in Barcelona. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) continued improvement for Honda finishing 6th with teammate Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) also finishing in the top 10.