WorldSBK Argentina Race 2 Results | Bautista aces 14th win, sets up match point

A 14th win of the season in Race 2 at San Juan Villicum gives Alvaro Bautista an 82 point lead into the penultimate round in Indonesia with 124 to play for

Alvaro Bautista - Ducati
Alvaro Bautista - Ducati

Alvaro Bautista is well-poised to clinch the 2022 WorldSBK Championship title next time out in Indonesia after a commanding 14th win of the season in Race 2 at San Juan Villicum swelled his margin to a vast 82 points.

Having begun the weekend with a comfortable 56 point advantage over defending champion Toprak Razgatlioglu, two dominant wins for Bautista in the more lucrative feature races, a second place finish in the Superpole Race and an ill-timed crash for his main rival in Race 1 have served to fortify an already strong title campaign.

Indeed, if Razgatlioglu and - to a lesser extent - Jonathan Rea viewed Argentina as probably the last opportunity for them to put pressure on Bautista without needing luck to intervene, both will need miracles in Mandalika and Phillip Island to reel the Spaniard in.

To his credit, Bautista - as he has so often done this season - was in peerless form in race conditions, the ex-MotoGP rider shrugging off a cautious opening few laps to work his way to the front before stretching clear from Razgatlioglu to win by more than three seconds.

Indeed, while he had to work hard from fifth place initially, Bautista benefited from a similarly tardy getaway for Razgatlioglu to nip ahead of him for fourth on lap one, before picking up third place from Rea when the Kawasaki rider got sucked out wide at Turn 10 to drop to sixth place.

With the ‘perennial’ top trio out of position, it was left to Michael Ruben Rinaldi to take up the lead through the initial laps, albeit under significant pressure from Alex Lowes.

However, while Lowes would repeatedly sneak into the lead at Turn 7 before the back straight, he was quickly retaken before the braking zone of Turn 8.

Soon, however, Bautista was beginning his charge to the front, picking off Lowes for second on lap four before getting the better of Ducati team-mate Rinaldi for the lead a lap later.

Behind him Razgatlioglu shadowed Bautista’s progress up to second but once there he couldn’t penetrate a lead margin between the two bikes that ocellated between 0.3s and 0.6s for a few laps.

However, Bautista would save his best for the second half of the race, reeling off a series of rapid laps at two-third distance to break the challenge of Razgatlioglu, the Turk fading into a lonely second place.

Maintaining a record of having won a race at all-but-one of the ten events so far this year (the only exception being Donington Park), Bautista’s 82 point lead means - with 124 maximum points from the final two events - he will get the chance to seal the title with a trio of modest top six results in Indonesia.

Indeed, such is his advantage at this stage in the season, Bautista can afford to non-score in all three races in Mandalika, yet still take a comfortable lead into the Phillip Island finale if necessary.

Behind Razgatlioglu on the road, Rea eventually worked his way back up the order, the Ulsterman overhauling team-mate Lowes late on to deny the Englishman a podium in one of his best performances of the year.

Rinaldi completed the top five, fending off Honda duo Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona in the process, while Andrea Locatelli, Scott Redding and Michael van der Mark completed the top ten.

Eugene Laverty, Garrett Gerloff, Xavi Fores, Philipp Oettl and Lucas Mahias secured the final points, each having benefited from gaining a position late on from Axel Bassani, who - after ignoring two long lap penalties for an incident involving Loris Baz - was then handed a ride-through to drop him down the order.

2022 WorldSBK | San Juan Villicum, Argentina | Race 2 Results

2022 WorldSBK Championship | San Juan Villicum, Argentina | Race 2 Results | Round 10 / 12
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Alvaro BautistaESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R22 Laps
2Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata YamahaYamaha R1+3.389
3Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+9.784
4Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+11.650
5Michael Ruben RinaldiITAAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+15.656
6Xavi ViergeESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+16.381
7Iker LecuonaESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+16.584
8Andrea LocatelliITAPata YamahaYamaha R1+20.401
9Scott ReddingGBRBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+21.420
10Michael van der MarkNEDBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+22.413
11Eugene LavertyIRLBonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+30,732
12Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1+32.655
13Xavi ForesESPBarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+34.058
14Philipp OettlESPTeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+38.422
15Lucas MahiasFRAPuccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+39.869
16Kohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1+41.107
17Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+44.649
18Oliver KonigCZEOrelac VerdNaturaKawasaki ZX-10RR+49.119
19Leandro MercadoARGMIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R+54.421
20Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+1m >
21Max ScheibCHIMIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R+1m >
22Marco SolorzaARGTPR Pedercini RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+1m >

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