Alvaro Bautista Completes the Hat Trick at Portimão
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing) won a nail biting Superpole Race in Portimão this morning over second place championship sitter Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Prometeon Yamaha). Baustista followed that win with a win in Race 2 basically sealing the deal for his second championship title. Bautista would have clinched after race 2 if Razgatlioglu had finish third or worse but that was not the case. While Razgatlioglu is still technically in the running, Bautista only needs to score 2 points in the final round of the season at Jerez in three races to clinch. Bautista set a new record for number of World Superbike wins at 56 on Ducati machinery with his hat trick this weekend.
Razgatlioglu’s Title Hopes are All but Over
Razgatlioglu didn’t go away without a fight. Despite getting the hole shot in race 2 he suffers from corner exit speed throughout race 2. His passes were textbook but every time he got past Bautista Bautista would beat him on the exit in to the next turn. It was a bit of a game of cat and mouse but by the final lap Razgatlioglu’s pace dropped off which is likely attributed to the amount of back and forth fighting leading to progressive tire wear. He was visibly dissatisfied with the result as the fate of his season was all but sealed as he crossed the finish line. The pair traded track position a whopping 35 times in race 2 alone.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi secured a consolation third place at Portimão. While his title fight is long over it was a great result for the Aruba.it Racing side to finish with a double podium and a hat trick win with Bautista. It is hard to envision Bautista not scoring 2 points in the next round but we’ve seen weirder things happen. We will continue to report on the status of the championship as we head to the final round at Jerez. That race weekend will kick off on October 27th 2023.