Another spectacular race was decided at the last corner. This time, however, Alvaro Bautista (P3 in this morning’s Superpole Race) is unable to repeat Saturday’s triumph: he finishes the race with a precious second place, which allows him to keep his advantage in the WorldSBK championship standings almost unchanged (+17 points).
Race-2 at the Estoril Round once again offered great entertainment for WorldSBK fans with Bautista, Rea (Kawasaki), and Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) battling it out from the first. In the final stages of the race, Bautista and Rea built up a good gap, creating a breath-taking final lap with no less than five overtakes. However, at the last chicane, the Northern Irishman took the lead and was able to defend himself on the final straight.
It was a difficult Sunday for Michael Rinaldi: he ends the weekend at the Estoril Circuit with a double eighth place in both the Superpole Race and Race-2 (in which he had a good start, recovering three positions immediately)
The Italian rider’s race pace, however, did not allow him to be incisive until the chequered flag.
Alvaro Bautista (aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“It’s a positive weekend with two really good races. If I have to be honest I had some troubles in the Superpole Race but the circuit conditions, due to the light rain, were very difficult. The battle with Rea in Race 2 was exciting. On the last lap, I was able to respond well to the first attack, but in the last corner, Johnny managed to close the door. I felt I was close to the limit so I consider second place a valuable result”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“I am quite disappointed. We clearly expected more, if only in terms of results. It’s a weekend that makes us think, but I have to say that together with the team we have the feeling that we are not far from being competitive again. Now we go home, I can’t wait to be at Misano and I can assure you that the one who will take to the track at WMC will be a different Rinaldi”.
With three laps to the end, Nicolò Bulega was forced to retire for the first time this season after a crash caused by Jespersen. It was a real shame for the Italian rider who had been one of the great protagonists of a spectacular Race 2. Bulega made a superb start, taking the lead immediately and then engaging in a thrilling duel with Baldassarri, Oncu, and Caricasulo (who then retired on lap 6). From the middle of the race, the fight involved four other riders, including Aegerter, who passed first under the chequered flag.
Podium chances were still concrete three laps from the end, but unfortunately, Bulega was hit by Jespersen who, after making a mistake in a corner, re-entered the trajectory.
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP)
“It was quite a difficult race also because of the weather conditions and the track a bit slippery. It was not easy to understand the limit, plus the risk of crashing was high. But unfortunately I didn’t fall because of my mistake but because of a wrong manoeuvre by another rider. It’s a shame because until today I had never crashed but above all because this is a heavy “0”. We will try at Misano to make up for the points lost here.