WorldSBK Argentina Race 1 Results | Bautista nears title after Razgatlioglu fall

Alvaro Bautista takes a significant stride towards the 2022 WorldSBK Championship title after dominating Race 1 as Toprak Razgatlioglu takes a tumble

Alvaro Bautista - Aruba.it Ducati

Alvaro Bautista has taken a critical stride towards the 2022 WorldSBK Championship title after cruising to a dominant victory in Race 1 at San Juan Villiucum in the wake of nearest title challenger Toprak Razgatlioglu crashing on the opening lap.

The Ducati rider came into the Argentine event - the first of three flyaways that will conclude the 2022 WorldSBK season - armed with a comfortable 56 point advantage over defending champion Razgatlioglu.

However, it was the Turkish rider that came into the race with the apparent advantage after dominating free practice and qualifying to take pole position.

But while Razgatlioglu converted pole into the hole-shot in the early stages of the race, the ever looming threat of Bautista would see the Spaniard surging from third to first coming down the long back straight into Turn 9 on lap one.

Eager to strike back straight away, Razgatlioglu dodged back to the inside of Bautista for the Turn 10 left-hander, only for the Yamaha R1 to fold beneath him under braking and slide out into the gravel trap.

A rare solo error at a critical juncture in the season, though Razgatlioglu would collect his bike and remount at the back of the field, there would only be time enough for him to collect 15th for a single point.

With his main rival out, Bautista set about capitalising on a golden opportunity, even if he first had to work his way back to the front having been delayed down to fourth in avoidance of the Yamaha skating across his bow

Instead it was Rea leading the field round at the end of lap one, though he too would be vulnerable to the might of Ducati machinery down the back straight when he was overtaken by Axel Bassani, the Motocorsa Racing rider grabbing the lead.

It was an advantage he’d retain for six laps thereafter, but while the Italian would stand up to the challenge of six-time WorldSBK champion Rea very well, he couldn’t resist the charging Bautista for long as the Spaniard first picked off the Kawasaki on lap six before taking the lead from his stablemate on lap eight.

From here, Bautista would not be headed again, multiplying his advantage with a series of rapid laps that would have always likely taken on the best Razgatlioglu had to offer.

Instead though it was Bautista crossing the line alone, some five seconds up on the opposition, his 13th WorldSBK win of the season increasing his margin at the head of the standings to a huge 80 points.

As a reference, with a maximum points’ haul of 62 for each race weekend, Bautista stands a good chance of putting himself in position to seal the title next time out in Indonesia barring any major incidents in the remaining two races.

Behind Bautista, Bassani and Rea engaged in an entertaining scrap for second place that looked to be heading the way of the former as he repeatedly repelled the advances of the Kawasaki Racing Team contender.

However, in the closing stages Rea would up the pressure on his younger rival and after a couple of failed attempts in readiness for his assault, planted a definitive pass for second place into the first corner with three laps to go.

A welcome result for the Ulsterman, coupled with Razgatlioglu’s lowly result, it puts him just 11 points behind what appears increasingly likely to be a fight for the runners-up spot.

Bassani held onto third place to secure his third podium of the year, the youngster well ahead of Iker Lecuona, the Honda rider a distance adrift in a lonely but still lucrative fourth place finish.

With the field fairly strung out around the scorching San Juan Villicum circuit, Michael Ruben Rinaldi rounded out the top five for Ducati, ahead of Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes and top BMW rider Scott Redding, the British rider unable to capitalise on a promising qualifying performance from the German marque..

On his tail at the flag in eighth was Andrea Locatelli, ahead of Xavi Vierge on the second of the factory Hondas, while Michael van der Mark rounded out the top ten.

With just one rider from the 22 that started failing to make the flag, Lucas Mahias, Xavi Fores, Garrett Gerloff, Eugene Laverty and the recovering Razgatlioglu completed the points’ paying positions.

2022 WorldSBK Championship | San Juan Villicum, Argentina | Race 1 Results

2022 WorldSBK Championship | San Juan Villicum, Argentina | Race 1 Results | Round 10 / 12
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Alvaro BautistaESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R21 Laps
2Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+5.141
3Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+6.689
4Iker LecuonaESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+11.917
5Michael Ruben RinaldiITAAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+13.882
6Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+14.507
7Scott ReddingGBRBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+18.402
8Andrea LocatelliITAPata YamahaYamaha R1+18.869
9Xavi ViergeESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+19.540
10Michael van der MarkNEDBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+24.661
11Lucas MahiasFRAPuccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+31.397
12Xavi ForesESPBarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+32.969
13Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1+35.081
14Eugene LavertyIRLBonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+36.961
15Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata YamahaYamaha R1+39.885
16Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+40.371
17Philipp OettlESPTeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+44.885
18Kohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1+45.220
19Oliver KonigCZEOrelac VerdNaturaKawasaki ZX-10RR+1m >
20Max ScheibCHIMIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R+1m >
21Marco SolorzaARGTPR Pedercini RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+1m >
DNFLeandro MercadoARGMIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R