WSBK: Alvaro Bautista Wins Race Two at Aragon to Take the Championship Lead

Published on April 10, 2022
By Jack Hammersley

Race Two Was Won by Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista who took the double on Sunday.

The conditions were a lot better than Race One with 35 degree track temperature and no wind. Alvaro Bautista started from pole position with Jonathan Rea in second and Toprak Razgatlioglu in third. Rea was on the A compound compared to Bautista and Toprak on the B compound front tyre.

The lights went out and it was Rea who took the holeshot into turn one with Bautista and Toprak behind, Michael Ruben Rinaldi made a move into turn four on Toprak, but the World Champion took back third at turn five.

Bautsita used the power of the Panigale V4R to take the lead from Rea down the back straight and headed the pack onto lap two. Rea made his move on Bautista into turn seven as he has done all weekend long.

Andrea Locatelli crashed at turn nine, a disaster for the Italian. Bautista took the lead again down the home straight to start lap three but the Spaniard ran wide into turn one and the six time World Champion retook the position; Rinaldi was in third and applying the pressure to both riders.

Bautista took the lead once again down the back straight; onto lap four Rinaldi out-dragged Rea and out-braked him, but ran wide and forced Rea wide and Toprak took advantage and moved into third place ahead of Rea with Rinaldi holding onto second place.

Axel Bassani had made huge improvments to his Motocorsa Ducati and was running inside the top six. Rea attacked Toprak into turn four, but ran wide and Toprak went back into third at turn five. Rea was desperate to get through to try and get back up to the Ducati’s.

The Honda’s of Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecouna were battling for seventh place with Loris Baz and Garrett Gerloff behind, Baz made his move on Lecuona at turn 14 to move into eighth place.

Rea was able to out-brake Toprak into turn one on lap six and now set his sights on the Ducati’s, Rinaldi was only 0.2 seconds behind his team-mate and was catching him, the Italian thriving off the increased track temperatures.

Baz then made a move on Vierge to move into seventh, he was the top BMW with the bottom BMW being Scott Redding down in 19th! A disasterous weekend for the former Vice Champion and on lap eight Scott was having brake problems, but carried on to get more data.

Rinaldi ran wide at turn one and on lap 11 Rea who had just set his personal best lap of the race was now in second place and went to chase after Bautista. The Northern Irishman made a uncharacteristic mistake at turn one, running wide and Rinaldi was on the back of the Kawasaki. Scott Redding pulled into the pitlane to retire from the race.

With three laps to go Toprak had the late race pace and squeezed his way through on Rinaldi into turn one with smoke coming off his boot trying to stop the Yamaha R1, he then looked to try and get Rea.

Alvaro Bautista crossed the line to win his second race of the weekend and take the championship lead for the first time since 2019. Rea finished in second place and Toprak took a hat-trick of third places, Rinaldi took his third fourth place of the weekend with Alex Lowes rounding out the top five.

Axel Bassani finished in sixth place with Baz holding off Vierge, Gerloff and Lecuona who rounded out the top ten. Lucas Mahias was 11th with Eugene Laverty in 12th, Philip Oetll was 13th, Roberto Tamburini 14th and Illia Mykhalchyk in the last point scoring position.

Bautista leads the championship with 57 points ahead of Rea in second with 54 points and Toprak with 39 points.

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