WSBK: Alvaro Bautista Wins Race Two in Indonesia as Jonathan Rea Crashed Out

Published on March 5, 2023
By Jack Hammersley

Alvaro Bautista takes his fifth win in sixth races and extends his championship lead over Toprak Razgatlioglu

The track conditions were similar to race one yesterday, Toprak Razgatlioglu started from pole position once again after winning the Superpole race, Andrea Locatelli and Alex Lowes round out the front-row with Jonathan Rea behind in fourth. Alvaro Bautista had his work cut with the championship leader having to start from tenth place after crashing out at turn 12. Loriz Baz was declared unfit due to a suffering a fractured right leg and ankle after a collision with Lowes, Eric Granado was also declared unfit due to illness.

The lights went out and it was Toprak who took the holeshot into turn one ahead of his team-mate Locatelli. Lowes passed Axel Bassani at turn 12 for fourth place, but Bassani retook the position at turn 13.

Bautista made a mistake into turn two running onto the dirty part of the tyre and dropped behind Scott Redding into ninth.

Locatelli attacked Toprak into turn 10 while Bassani was overtaking Rea, but forced Toprak wide and he dropped to sixth, Bassani then passed Locatelli into turn 12 and Andrea dropped down to seventh place.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi made two quick overtakes on the KRT riders on lap three and passed Bassani on lap four at turn ten to take the lead of the race.

Bautista started to make his way through the pack, he passed Locatelli into turn one on lap, meanwhile Rinaldi was getting away setting the fastest lap of the race.

Toprak out-braked Rea and forced his way through into fourth place at turn ten. Bassani had to drop one position, he tried to do it at turn ten, but he lost two places with Lowes and Toprak going through.

Lowes nearly ran into the back of Bassani and ran off the track, Rea and Bassani went side-by-side into turn two with the MotoCorsa Ducati going really wide and dropping down to fifth. Xavi Vierge was all of a sudden fighting for a podium and overtook Rea at turn ten.

Michael Van Der Mark had a huge highside out of turn 11 and Philipp Oetll had no where to go. Bautista then out-drove Rea out of turn 14 to move into fourth place, Redding tried to go underneath Locaettli, but the Brit lost the rear and went down. The red flag was then brought out due to the Van Der Mark and Oetll incident.

The race was restarted at a 14 lap race distance, Rinaldi was visibly frustrated having lost a 2.4 second lead over Toprak.

The lights went out once again and it was Rinaldi who took the holeshot ahead of Toprak and Bautista, Rea dropped to sixth at the start but passed Bassani at turn ten to move back inside the top five. Toprak was glued to the back of the V4R of Rinaldi.

On lap three Rinaldi started to break away like he did in the first race, Toprak was holding off Bautista with his late braking.

Bautista forced his way through at turn 15 forcing the former world champion onto the dirty part of the track was in second place, he was 1.5 seconds behind his team-mate with ten lap remaining.

Bautista had closed the gap to 1.1 seconds in one lap and had a 1.2 second lead over Toprak, but he ran wide at turn one and had to recover the gap all over again.

Jonathan Rea went down at turn seven out of fifth place losing the front, all of the titantic trio have now had one DNF a piece, uncharacteristic of the trio.

With three laps remaining Bautista was right on the back of Rinaldi; on the penultimate lap of the race Bautista out-braked Rinaldi at turn ten to move into the lead. Rinaldi then made a huge mistake on the last lap at turn ten running off track and dropping to fourth place.

It was the hardest race of the season, but Alvaro crossed the line to take his fifth win of the season, Toprak came home in second and Xavi Vierge crossed the line to take his first SBK podium and the first for HRC since Iker Lecuona in Race Two at Assen.

Rinaldi crossed the line in fourth place and with everything that happened in both parts of race two, he will be very frustrated. Andrea Locaettli rounded out the top five with Danilo Petrucci finishing as the top independent in sixth, Remy Gardner despite his illness crossed the line in seventh place.

Alvaro leads the championship with 112 points ahead of Toprak who has overtaken his team-mate and is 37 points behind, Locatelli was third 42 points behind. Axel Bassani was fourth on 51 points ahead of fellow Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi who’s 65 points behind his team-mate. Jonathan Rea has dropped to sixth place in the standings with juts 44 points to his name, he will need to pull off a great performance at Assen to get his championship back on track.

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