WorldSBK: Alvaro Bautista completes a perfect hat-trick at Jerez
Alvaro Bautista has completed the perfect weekend at home as he takes three wins from three
After a dominating performance in qualifying, Race One and the Superpole Race Bautista started from pole for the final time in the 2023 WorldSBK season. Dominique Aegerter once again started from second place and Jonathan Rea started third place in his final race for Kawasaki. With Toprak Razgatlioglu starting fourth place in his final race for Yamaha.
As the lights went out it was Bautista who grabbed the holeshot in front of Rea and Razgatlioglu. But Rea made his intentions clear and passed Bautista on the opening lap. Bautista ran wide at the start of the second lap and Razgatlioglu swooped his way into second to try and catch Rea.
On the fifth lap of the race disaster struck for Rea and Kawasaki as the Northern Irishman crashed at turn two, ending the dream of winning his final race with Kawasaki. Razgatlioglu, who was in his final race with Yamaha, inherited the lead from Rea.
With 14 laps to go the Turkish rider had settled into a rhythm at the front of the race and had a 1 second lead over Bautista. However, the little Spaniard had been eating into Razgatlioglu’s advantage to chase down his sparring partner from the majority of the season.
Only two laps later Bautista had dragged in the Turkish rider and the Ducati was only 0.2 seconds behind the Yamaha. Into the Lorenzo Corner Bautista sent a move on Razgatlioglu but the Spaniard ran it wide and let the Turkish rider back through.
At half race distance the two front runners continued to battle as Bautista blasted his way passed Razgatlioglu down the back straight but Razgatlioglu slid back passed Bautista into the Pedrosa Corner. All of the battling between the front two riders allowed Aegerter and Michael Ruben Rinaldi to catch up to the front two to make it a group of four.
At the end of the 12th lap of the race Bautista launched another attack on Razgatlioglu at the Lorenzo Corner but once again Razgatlioglu fought off Bautista. Rinaldi launched a move on Aegerter at the same time and made his way up to third place.
With eight laps to go Bautista took the lead as he sprung a surprise attack on the Turkish rider and claimed the lead. But it was short lived as Razgatlioglu attacked again at turn one at the start of the 14th lap of the race, until Bautista sprung back passed. The drama continued as almost every corner the duo would throw a lunge at each other.
Six laps left of the 2023 season and Remy Gardner and Danilo Petrucci had joined the party at the front creating a group of six fighting for the three podium places. Five laps left and Razgatlioglu leads from Bautista, Rinaldi, Aegerter, Gardner and Petrucci.
With four laps to go the pressure on Bautista was mounting as Aegerter was all over the back of the Spaniard after Rinaldi made a mistake and dropped back to sixth place. A rare mistake from Bautista as he ran it wide at the start of the 18th lap and lost some ground to Razgatlioglu.
After a hectic last three laps it was Toprak Razgatlioglu who claimed the chequered flag and thought he took a poetic final victory for Yamaha. However, after a track limits infringement was triggered Razgatlioglu was demoted to second.
Alvaro Bautista was gifted the race win after the final corner and was promoted from second to first place. With Razgatlioglu now second and Aegerter third.