WorldSBK Indonesia: Hat-trick for Razgatlioglu as Bautista secures the crown

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu held off 2022 WorldSBK Champion Alvaro Bautista in Sunday’s final race at Mandalika in Indonesia.

Second was more than enough for the Aruba.it Ducati rider to secure the title celebrations with Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea completing the podium from third.

Double race winner Razgatlioglu lined up on pole for the final action of the Indonesian weekend. Rea taking charge of the action from lights out with both Pata Yamaha riders Razgatlioglu and Andrea Locatelli in hot pursuit.

Bautista challenged from fourth as the race bedded in. The championship leader less than a tenth off the podium sitters as the pace ignited, third enough to complete his title aspirations with a round in hand.

The Spaniard secured the required position by lap four, Locatelli sent wide after a tangle with Motocorsa’s Axel Bassani as the pair bickered for best of the rest with KRT’s Alex Lowes a second adrift in sixth.

Razgatlioglu pounced for the lead one lap later. The Yamaha rider immediately pulling a three tenth advantage as he hunted down a hat-trick before Bautista dispatched the Kawasaki down to third. Rea quickly came under pressure from the newly-crowned ‘Best Independent Rider’ with Bassani into podium contention with 14 to go.

The Kawasaki’s looked to be struggling as Lowes lost out further back. The Brit demoted to seventh at the hands of Honda’s Xavi Vierge with GRT Yamaha’s Garret Gerloff, BMW’s Scott Redding and the second Aruba of Michael Rinaldi completing the top ten.

Bassani was the man on the move as the race reached the halfway stage and the Ducati rider claimed the fastest lap. Rea hitting back for the final podium position as GRT’s Kohta Nozane crashed out.

Gerloff looked to challenge Vierge for sixth with ten to go before Redding struck at the American. The R1 off track and down to tenth in the aftermath.

Bautista claimed the lead with eight laps to go. The Ducati powering down the straight as he looked to clinch his title with victory but the outgoing champion was not done yet and the duo continued to swap positions as the next laps played out.

The scrap out front allowed Rea to reel the ZX-10RR into contention as the race neared conclusion. Half a tenth the gap to bridge with six laps remaining, Bassani a further two seconds behind the big three, in fourth.

Razgatlioglu was back in charge at turn ten. The pair repeatedly switching positions as the lap concluded with the Yamaha leading through the opening of the next.

Digging deep despite the 68℃ track temperatures, Razgatlioglu pulled a six-tenth gap with four to go. Bautista seeming to settle for second with the championship trophy the overriding goal as the Turk set the fastest lap out front.

The podium runners had five seconds in hand as the penultimate lap began. Locatelli half a second off the wheels of Bassani before he advanced to steal fourth from his fellow Italian. Redding heading Vierge in sixth and seventh with Gerloff, Lowes and Rinaldi rounding out eh top ten.

Razgatlioglu met the flag with a 1.2 second lead from the 2022 WorldSBK Champion Alvaro Bautista. Rea completing the podium celebrations ahead of Locatelli, Bassani, Redding and Vierge with Gerloff bringing home eighth from Lowes and Rinaldi. Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores claimed 11th from BMW’s Michael van der Mark and Loris Baz with MIE Honda’s Hafizh Syahrin and Orelac Kawasaki’s Oliver Konig collecting the final points.

Click here for times

Picture: GeeBee Images