A crazy Sunday in Indonesia. Everything happens at the Mandalika circuit, with two red flags interrupting both the Superpole Race and Race-2. In the end, Alvaro Bautista takes his fifth win out of six races in the 2023 WorldSBK season.
The day begins with a difficult Superpole Race for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Team riders: Bautista crashes when in third position (P10 on the grid in Race-2) and Rinaldi finishes seventh.
Race-2 start is spectacular. The Italian rider takes the lead on lap 5 and when the red flag is shown (Lap 8) he has a 2.5-second advantage over Razgatlioglu.
In the second start, Rinaldi defends the first position and Bautista (who before the red flag had recovered 6 positions) takes the second place after 5 laps. The positions remain unchanged until 4 laps to go when the Spaniard overtakes his team-mate, evidently in crisis with his front tire. Three corners from the chequered flag, however, Rinaldi goes long and sees the ‘one-two’ finish varnish.
P1 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #1)
“It was an incredible day. Everything happened, first in the Superpole Race then in Race 2. I crashed in the morning because after Jonathan overtook me I went on the dirty part of the track. The start from tenth position in Race-2 was not easy also because this is a circuit that doesn’t offer many points to attack. Then, after the red flag, I thought I could not catch Rinaldi who had a very fast pace. In the end, though I got closer and I was able to take the first position. We have a lot of confidence and we want to continue to prove that we are competitive”.
P4 – Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“I’m disappointed and that’s inevitable. The start in Race 2 was strong, the feeling in the first laps was excellent and I even managed to take the lead by a good margin. Then I saw the red flag: the most important thing is that no one got hurt, but it’s clear that I came back to the box disappointed because I felt I had all the cards to win the race. After the second start, I held the lead until the front drop allowed me to maintain an acceptable pace and at the end, I almost crashed. However, we have to look at the good things we have done and from these, we will have to restart in Europe”.
After starting from Pole Position, Nicolò Bulega defended the first position for three laps. The pace, however, is not incisive and the Italian rider finds himself fourth by lap six. Bulega grits his teeth and with five laps to go he passed Oncu (Kawasaki) to take the podium (P3)
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“I am quite happy with this weekend. We took our first pole position and we go home with a podium. The balance is positive because if I have to be honest, the feeling with the bike was not what we had in Australia. We have six weeks to analyze the data and get ourselves ready for Assen.”