WSBK: Jonathan Rea Wins The Season Opening Race One At Aragon.
Jonathan Rea Takes The First Victory Of The World Superbike 2022 Season After An Epic Battle With Alvaro Bautista.
Aragon was the host of the opening round of the World Superbike Championship. Reigning WSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu was on pole position alongside Honda’s Alvaro Bautista in second place and Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea was in third place. Most of the grid were running the SCX rear tyre, Jonathan Rea separated himself from the rest using a softer front tyre.
As the lights went out Alvaro Bautista lead the pack of 25 riders into turn one, Toprak took the lead by turn two, Rea made an aggressive move on Toprak at turn seven and took the lead. The Ducati duo of Baustista and Ruben Rinaldi were third and fourth respectively. Toprak made a pass at turn one one lap two and retook the lead from Rea.
Honda’s Lecuona was up-to fifth place followed by Alex Lowes in sixth. Rea snatched the lead back from Toprak at turn 10, Baustista wasn’t letting the leading pair get away, he was right on the back wheel of Toprak. BMW’s Scott Redding was down in 19th place, not where the British rider wanted to be. Michael Laverty was the highest placed BMW in ninth place.
With 14 laps to go Toprak slipped underneath Rea for the lead, the leading trio started to break away from the rest of the field. Bautista was looking very comfortable and made his pass for second at turn one, all three riders were fighting for first position, each taking a turn in leading, with all the dicing Rinaldi caught the front group up in fourth place. Rea was leading on lap seven from Bautista. Alex Lowes crashed at turn 11.
Rea and Bautista were were switching positions at every corner, Toprak was in third place just waiting to make his move, the Turkish rider did look to be struggling to keep up with the leading pair. With 10 laps to go Bautista was leading from Rea and Toprak, Rinaldi had just dropped back from the leading group. Bautista had a big moment at the last corner on lap 10 handing the lead back to Rea.
Bautista started to lose tyre grip with six laps to go, the Spanish rider didn’t look confident into the corners, but he was still in range to make a pass on Rea and he did on the last corner with four laps to go. Rea made a block pass and retook the lead. Toprak ran out of tyre wear and was too far back to be able to fight for the lead.
Rea managed to hold off Bautista to take the first victory of the 2022 season, Bautista was second with Toprak in third, Rinaldi was fourth, Locatelli was fifth. Top placed rookie Lecuona finished in sixth place for Honda followed by his team-mate Vierge in seventh place.
The Superpole race is tomorrow at 10am (GMT+1).
Featured Images: WorldSBK.com