WorldSBK Barcelona Race 1 Results | Relentless Bautista romps to commanding win

Alvaro Bautista builds on his advantage at the head of the 2022 WorldSBK Championship standings with a dominant ninth win of the season in Barcelona

Alvaro Bautista - Ducati

Alvaro Bautista delivered a masterclass in precision riding as he romped to a ninth win of the 2022 WorldSBK season during a topsy-turvy opening race of the weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The Spaniard shrugged off an indifferent qualifying performance that left him fifth on the grid to nail an excellent getaway from the lights and get the hole-shot into Turn 1 on the Ducati Panigale V4 R.

From here, Bautista wouldn’t relinquish his grip on a lead he’d multiply by fistfuls of tenths each lap to at one stage command an advantage of more than ten seconds over a chasing pack grappling with varying degrees of tyre degradation.

Indeed, with the Montmelo venue having established itself as arguably the most demanding circuit on the calendar since its debut in 2020, Race 1 maintained this trend as riders yo-yo’d up and down the order, most notably title contenders Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea.

While the defending champion seemingly had it all to do from eighth on the grid - compared with Rea in third - the pair underwent a reversal of fortunes into Turn 1 with the Turk’s late braking seeing him emerge in second, while the Kawasaki man got caught up in the melee to drop as low as ninth initially.

Despite being forced to give up on the chase for Bautista early on, Razgatlioglu still looked well on course for a podium as he circulated in what had become a lonely second position. However, as the race entered its final third, Razgatlioglu’s lap times had begun to plummet after hitting tyre problems so severe it left the Yamaha R1 squirming heavily under acceleration.

It didn’t take long for a chasing pack - that had been several seconds adrift - to catch right back up to the tail of the R1.

At the head of the charge was Rea on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR, who despite being made to work hard for his overtakes - particularly by Axel Bassani - had now clawed his way back up to third position with six laps to go.

It meant Razgatlioglu was no match for Rea as he streamed by with four to go, the Kawasaki man powering on to a richly deserved second place finish that limits the damage to his waning title aspirations.

For Razgatlioglu, however, the woes didn't stop with Rea getting by as his descent down the order stopped with fifth at the flag.

So while Razgatlioglu remains second in the standings, the gap between himself and Bautista now stands at 44 points, with Rea 52 points adrift of the top spot.

As well as Rea, Garrett Gerloff was the other big beneficiary of his stablemate’s struggles, the American ignoring any potential team order calls on the GRT bike in the week he was confirmed to be Bonovo BMW bound in 2023.

Rewarded for conserving his tyres best in the closing stages, Gerloff ascended from seventh to third late on for his first podium of the 2022 WorldSBK season.

Another rider to make big gains in the latter stages, fourth place Michael Ruben Rinaldi - a winner in Barcelona last year - might have stood a chance of keeping up with his Ducati team-mate out front had he not dropped to ninth by running well wide at Turn 1 early on.

Behind Razgatlioglu, Iker Lecuona converted his maiden WorldSBK pole position into sixth place, the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade rider losing ground late on having gamely held on in third for much of the race.

Similarly, Alex Lowes circulated with Lecuona almost from start-to-finish, crossing the line in seventh place, while Bassani paid for a feisty first few laps to fade in eighth place.

Andrea Locatelli looked to have pace early on but was another Yamaha rider to struggle with tyre woes in ninth, while Eugene Laverty scored his best finish of the season in tenth in an otherwise dismal afternoon for BMW after its factory riders Scott Redding and Michael van der Mark retired with a crash and technical issues respectively.

2022 WorldSBK Championship | Barcelona, Spain | Race 1 Results

2022 WorldSBK Championship | Barcelona, Spain | Race 1 Results | Round 8 / 12
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Alvaro BautistaESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R21 Laps
2Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+8.665
3Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1+9.289
4Michael Ruben RinaldiITAAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+10.783
5Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata YamahaYamaha R1+13.568
6Iker LecuonaESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+13.655
7Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+14.013
8Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+14.839
9Andrea LocatelliITAPata YamahaYamaha R1+29.775
10Eugene LavertyIRLBonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+30.094
11Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+30.390
12Xavi ViergeESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+31.755
13Roberto TamburiniITAMotoxracing TeamYamaha R1+33.055
14Lucas MahiasFRAPuccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+35.962
15Christophe PonssonFRAGil Motor SportYamaha R1+37.498
16Kohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1+45.108
17Oscar GutierrezESPTPR Pedercini RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+46.958
18Leandro MercadoARGMIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R+55.315
19Oliver KonigCZEOrelac VerdNaturaKawasaki ZX-10RR+57.534
DNFMichael van der MarkNEDBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR 
DNFScott ReddingGBRBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR 
DNFLuca BernardiSMRBarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R 
DNFPhilipp OettlESPTeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R