WSBK: Alvaro Wins Race Two at San Juan Villicum to Extend His Championship Lead

Published on October 23, 2022
By Jack Hammersley

Alvaro Bautista takes his 14th victory of the season and has one hand on the championship trophy

The conditions at the San Juan Villicum circuit were a lot hotter than in Race One, everyone but Axel Bassani, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Philip Otll were running the SCX tyre with those three running the harder SC0.

The lights went out and it was Jonathan Rea who took the holeshot into turn one ahead of Rinaldi and Toprak, Bautista had a poor start and dropped to fifth behind Alex Lowes. Rinaldi took the lead down the back straight with Lowes and Bautista passing Toprak also.

Rea attacked Rinaldi into turn nine on lap two, but ran really wide and allowed his team-mate through into second. The six-time World Champion was then under threat from Bautista into turn ten and again Rea out-braked himself and dropped to sixth place in-front of Loris Baz who then went down at turn 11.

Lowes then took the lead into turn seven, but Rinaldi used the horsepower of the Ducati to retake the lead, Bautista and Toprak were on the back of the leaders.

On lap four Alvaro made his move on Alex at turn eight and PATA Yamaha’s Toprak followed suit at turn ten, not wanting to let the Spaniard get away.

The championship leader took the lead down the back straight on lap five, Rinaldi would have to block Toprak to allow his team-mate to break away, but Toprak didn’t allow that to happen as he passed the Italian and Venezuelan rider into turn one; Lowes then pass Michael into turn seven, but Rinaldi was able to get back in-front down the straight.

Iker Lecuona was the fastest rider on the track, the HRC rider had a poor start but was starting to close in on his team-mate Xavi Vierge.

With Bautista and Toprak out in-front they set the fastest laps of the race and had formed a big gap over the rest of the pack. Lowes once again passed Rinaldi and it was deja vu as the Ducati powered passed the ZX-10R, but Rinaldi ran wide into turn eight and Lowes finally made the move for third stick. Rea was able to get through on Rinaldi at turn ten.

Bassani was given a long lap penalty for irresponsible riding after a collision with Baz at turn 12, the young Italian was missing a winglet on the left-hand side due to the contact with the BMW M1000RR.

Andrea Locatelli was continuing his struggles this season but was making progress during the race as he passed Scott Redding for ninth place at turn ten with 11 laps to go.

Due to not taking his long lap penalty, MotoCorsa Ducat’s Axel Bassani was given a double long lap penalty as he was closing in on Rinaldi and both Factory Honda bikes for fifth place.

After sitting behind his team-mate for a lot of laps, Jonathan Rea finally passed Lowes into turn eight on lap 18 to move into the final podium spot.

Alvaro Bautista crossed the line to take his 14th victory of the season and his 27th podium in 30 races, Toprak Razgatliolgu was in second place ahead of Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes with Michael Ruben Rinaldi holding off the Factory Hondas of Vierge and Lecuona.

Race Two

Bautista now leads the championship by 82 points over reigning champion Toprak, if the Spaniard concedes less than 20 points to Toprak and 36 points to Rea, he will be the 2022 World Superbike Champion.

Featured Images: Alvaro Bautista Arce,


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