Misano WorldSBK: Bautista blitzes race two

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Alvaro Bautista utterly dominated the final WorldSBK race at Misano on Sunday with a seven-second lead on the Aruba.it Ducati.

Defending champion Toprak Razgatliolgu split a second double Ducati podium as Michael Rinaldi joined the celebrations for another third at home.

The final Italian race of the weekend fired up with Razgatliolgu in command of the grid following his first victory of the season. The R1 headed the usual trio with Bautista and Jonathan Rea alongside, while Honda locked out the start of row two from the second Pata machine of Andrea Locatelli.

The hottest temperatures of the weekend greeted the pack as the lights released the action with 57℃ registered on the grid as Razgatlioglu stormed for the holeshot with Bautista bettering Rea for second. Alex Lowes initially getting a better start before himself being bogged down by the group alongside Locatelli at turn one with the pair running eighth and ninth.

Michael Rinaldi recovered five positions on the Aruba Ducati as the opening lap developed before capturing fourth from Xavi Vierge next time around. Motocorsa’s Axel Bassani following suit for the top five as Vierge was demoted into the path of teammate Iker Lecuona. The Italian was on the podium by lap three as he scalped Rea at turn ten. Garrett Gerloff sliding the GRT Yamaha out at the last corner having run inside the top ten in the opening stages.

Razgatlioglu maintained his lead from a duo of pursuing Ducati’s before Bautista made a move, the Yamaha hitting back almost instantly and looking to break free with the leading quartet covered by just over half a second with five laps done.

Bassani was on the back of the front group as the next lap played out, the Hondas, Lowes and Locatelli stretching out in the second pack with Scott Redding rounding out the top ten with a third’s distance complete.

Bautista took charge into Curvone as lap seven counted down with the door immediately closed to the determined Turk. Rea dropping off the leading trio with a near-two-second buffer to the challengers behind.

An inter-team battle looked to be building for sixth before Vierge claimed fifth from the fading Bassani. Lecuona the next to take a look with Lowes also advancing his pace at the halfway stage.

Razgatlioglu began to suffer on the R1 as his pace backed off following repeated warnings and a major moment at turn eight. Vierge crashing out at high speed through turn eleven as Lecuona climbed to fifth ahead of Bassani, Lowes and Locatelli. Lowes, Bassani and Razgatlioglu all facing track limits warming as the second half unfolded.

Bautista dominated the race with six laps to go and a two and a half second lead. Razgatlioglu a further three seconds clear of Rinaldi in the final podium position with Rea equal distance back in fourth. The battle for fifth settling down with the quartet separated by half a second apiece.

Late pace saw Lowes advance to sixth with Bassani remaining on his wheels as he looked to strike back on the Kawasaki. The position ultimately disappearing as the Brit received a long lap penalty for track limits on the penultimate revolution.

Bautista met the flag with a seven-second lead and a fastest lap award to extend his advantage to 36 points in the championship standings. Razgatlioglu and the Spaniard’s teammate, Rinaldi, completing the home celebrations for a jubilant Ducati squad once again with Rea heading Lecuona, Locatelli, Bassani and demoted Lowes in the top eight. Redding claimed BMW honours in ninth ahead of Bonovo’s Loris Baz with Philipp Oettl, Roberto Tamburini, Luca Bernardi, Eugene Laverty and Ilya Mikhalchik picking up the final points.

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