The party explodes on the pit wall and in the garage when Alvaro Bautista manages to overtake Toprak Razgatlioglu under the chequered flag. This was the end of Race-1 for the Estoril Round, third event of the 2022 WorldSBK season. The Spanish rider was the protagonist of a fantastic race after a difficult start that forced him to battle with Locatelli for the first 5 laps before chasing down Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki). After passing Rea on lap 16, in the final corners, Bautista prepared the perfect strategy that allowed him to beat Razgatlioglu in the final straight.
Michael Rinaldi‘s start was good but at the first corner, to avoid contact with his teammate, the Italian rider was forced to widen his trajectory, losing 6 positions.
Rinaldi had the merit of staying focused and in the second half of the race, he pushed with conviction to recover some positions, eventually finishing in ninth place.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“I am very very happy with this victory, especially considering it was not an easy race. A mistake at the first corner made me lose a position. As a result, I had to fight with Locatelli before I could focus on the comeback. The gap with Johnny and Toprak was quite wide but I felt the pace was good and in the last laps I realized I could fight for the win. The final overtake? I think that was the only point where I could have overtaken Toprak. I am very happy, especially for the team who is doing a great job”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“It’s a shame. The feeling before the start was positive. I felt I could stay close to the leading group. Unfortunately at the first corner, I had to go wide to avoid contact with Alvaro, losing a lot of positions. From that moment on the race was very difficult but at the same time, I can say I am satisfied with the pace I was able to keep, especially in the last 10 laps. I think we are in the right direction. This time we had a bit of bad luck but I am not disappointed with what we did during the race”.
Nicolò Bulega made a great start from second place on the grid. At the first corner, he was already in the lead but halfway through the first lap he made a mistake that made him lose five positions. Bulega continued to push until the final duel with Oncu (Kawasaki) whom he managed to overtake on the last lap, securing his third podium of the season.
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP)
“I am very happy with how things went. A podium is always important even though, obviously, without the mistake on the first lap I could have had a different race. Yesterday was my first time on this circuit and today I am on the podium. It’s a good result that I want to dedicate to the team for the work they have done over the last two days”.