WorldSBK Portimao Race 2 Results | Bautista bites back to see off Razgatlioglu

Alvaro Bautista breaks the resolve of a determined Toprak Razgatlioglu to restore his WorldSBK title lead in WorldSBK Portimao Race 2

Alvaro Bautista - Ducati

Alvaro Bautista has restored much of his 2022 WorldSBK Championship lead after getting the better of Toprak Razgatlioglu in a duel for Race 2 victory in Portimao.

An absorbing race that this time properly pitched Bautista and Razgatlioglu against one another over a full race distance, that extra mileage would prove critical for the Ducati rider as he repelled the advances of his rival before making a break for glory in the closing stages.

An impressive fight back from the champion-elect after Razgatlioglu streamed to victory in Race 1 and the Superpole Race, Bautista’s 12th win of the year sees him extend his advantage over the Turk to 56 points with three rounds and nine races remaining.

Much like the first two races, victory only ever looked like being contested by Bautista and Razgatlioglu, despite Jonathan Rea coming out swinging for Race 2 as he aggressively hustled his way to the front mid-way round the opening lap.

Indeed, having faded to a lonely third on each earlier occasion, Rea grafted hard early on to resist Razgatlioglu and Bautista circulating just behind him, the duo seemingly satisfied holding station as the Kawasaki man tried - but failed - to establish a gap.

As a result, despite lapping at record pace for a time, Rea’s vulnerability to Razgatlioglu on the brakes and Bautista on the straights would ultimately quell his challenge.

Beginning with Razgatlioglu grabbing the lead into Turn 1 on Lap 7, though Rea fought right back at the same point on Lap 8, the Turk simply switched back up the inside at Turn 2.

Another push for the lead into Turn 1 came on Lap 9, which in turn allowed Bautista to squeeze between the pair into a menacing second position.

Indeed, frustratingly for the Kawasaki and Yamaha man, the order shuffle put Bautista - who had been struggling to get his tyres up to working temperature - in a prime opportunity to stay close to his rivals through twisting sections where the Ducati usually loses time before unleashing the Panigale V4 R’s ruthless acceleration down the straight at the start of Lap 10.

As such, Rea was no match for Bautista when he came sprinting past before they’d even reached the start-finish line, the Spaniard an extraordinary 0.4secs up on the Kawasaki rider by the time they hit Turn 1.

From here, Rea’s challenge began to fade with Razgatlioglu getting by on Lap 11 to leave the Ulsterman in his wake before heading off in hunt of Bautista.

Prompting some terrific laps from Razgatlioglu to break the gap down, the pair found themselves in roles reversed compared with the Superpole Race, the Yamaha swarming over the back of the Ducati through the technical sections, only for the red bike to pull away on the straight.

Undeterred, Razgatlioglu caught Bautista by surprise with a robust block pass in an unusual spot at Turn 13 with seven laps to go, but Bautista didn't need to work so hard to get it back on the straight yet again.

That shortlived offensive would prove Razgatlioglu’s final throw of the dice as he began to slip away from the fight, releasing Bautista to romp home to victory by 2.2secs. His 12th win of the year, it maintains the ex-MotoGP rider's record of having won at least one race from eight of this year’s nine events (Donington Park the only omission).

It also means Bautista completes the final European round of the season having conceded only three points overall to Razgatlioglu. With only three rounds - Argentina, Indonesia and Australia - remaining, Bautista leads the defending champion by  56 points.

Rea completed his brace of third place results to slip further adrift in the title fight, the six-time World Champion now 83 points down on the leader.

Having rallied with the leaders for the first half of the race, Michael Ruben Rinaldi settled for a lonely fourth, with Alex Lowes in fifth and Andrea Locatelli in sixth enduring similarly solitary afternoons. However, both have benefited from a rare crash and DNF for Axel Bassani, the Italian’s exit allowing both Locatelli and Lowes ahead of him overall in fifth and sixth respectively.

Scott Redding was the best placed BMW rider in seventh for his best result of the weekend, the Briton benefiting from a crash for Honda’s Iker Lecuona while they disputed the position.

That allowed Lecuona’s team-mate Xavi Vierge into eighth place, with Garrett Gerloff and Loris Baz completing the top ten, while the final points’ positions were assumed by Philipp Oettl, Michael van der Mark, Luca Bernardi, Roberto Tamburini and for the first time, MotoAmerica champion Jake Gagne.

2022 WorldSBK Championship | Portimao, Portugal | RACE 2 RESULTS

2022 WorldSBK Championship | Portimao, Portugal | RACE 2 RESULTS | Round 9 / 12
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Alvaro BautistaESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R20 Laps
2Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata YamahaYamaha R1+2.256
4Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+4.758
4Michael Ruben RinaldiITAAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+7.833
5Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+8.406
6Andrea LocatelliITAPata YamahaYamaha R1+15.191
7Scott ReddingGBRBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+19.661
8Xavi ViergeESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+20.581
9Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1+20.889
10Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+23.756
11Philipp OettlESPTeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+24.047
12Michael van der MarkNEDBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+25.749
13Luca BernardiSMRBarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+29.930
14Roberto TamburiniITAMotoxracing TeamYamaha R1+31.337
15Jake GagneUSAAttack Performance Yamaha R1+36.203
16Eugene LavertyIRLBonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+28.719
17Marvin FritzAUTiXS YARTYamaha R1+41.026
18Christophe PonssonFRAGil Motor SportYamaha R1+48.489
19Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R+48.591
20Leandro MercadoARGMIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R+48.727
21Kohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1+49.505
22Iker LecuonaESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+1m >
23Oliver KonigCZEOrelac VerdNaturaKawasaki ZX-10RR+1m >
DNFAxel BassaniITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R 
DNFLeon HaslamGBRTPR Pedercini RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR 
DNFLucas MahiasFRAPuccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR