WorldSBK Portimao Superpole Race Results | Razgatlioglu 'brakes' Bautista to win

Toprak Razgatlioglu calls upon his signature late-braking skills to hold off a rapid Alvaro Bautista for his second victory of the WorldSBK Portimao weekend

Toprak Razgatlioglu - Pata Yamaha, 2022 WorldSBK

Toprak Razgatlioglu notched up his second victory of the WorldSBK Portimao weekend with a hard fought triumph over Alvaro Bautista in the Superpole Race.

A tense encounter that perfectly demonstrated the two riders’ disparate weapons in supreme action, while Bautista was able to use the Ducati’s sheer superiority under acceleration to persistently nose ahead of his rival on the home straight, he couldn’t defend against Razgatlioglu’s signature late-braking retorts on the Yamaha into Turn 1.

A fascinating encounter that ebbed and flowed over the short ten lap distance, Razgatlioglu snatched the hole-shot from Jonathan Rea at Turn 1 as Bautista slotted into third place ahead of Alex Lowes.

However, an indication of what was to come would be apparent as the trio rounded the long final right-hand turn for the first time, with Razgatlioglu moving towards the pit-wall to repel the advance of Rea tucked in behind him, only for Bautista to rocket past both into the lead without even needing a slipstream.

While Bautista was able to get it stopped in time to dip into Turn 1 with the lead from Razgatlioglu and Rea, the Turk responded with a critical pass into Turn 5 to reclaim the top spot.

What followed was a repeated cycle of Razgatlioglu pulling a minor margin over Bautista through the more technical parts of the Portuguese circuit, while the Spaniard rebuffed Rea on the Kawasaki.

However, once onto the long home straight, Bautista could easily bridge margins of up to 0.3secs to reel the Yamaha in and move to the front. 

Unable to repel the Ducati’s advance in a straight line, instead Razgatlioglu focused on out-braking his rival into Turn 1. Indeed, with Bautista noticeably more cautious on the downhill braking zone because of his need to scrub more speed from the bike, he couldn’t stop the defending champion from slipping up the inside each time,

It was a pattern repeated on nearly every lap to the flag, Bautista sweeping by on the straight before Razgatlioglu poked back ahead once they’d hit the anchors.

As a result, the emphasis would shift towards Bautista being close enough coming off the final corner to get the pass done before reaching the start-finish line, something he’d already achieved as they entered lap seven.

With the Spaniard putting in a determined effort on the final lap to stay close to Razgatlioglu through the infield, a shake of the Ducati’s head as they exited the penultimate corner would give Razgatlioglu the breathing room he needed to get to the flag just before being overtaken.

A gritty effort from the Turkish rider, who notches up his 10th win of the season - all of which have come in the last 15 races - the success sees him nibble Bautista’s championship lead down to 51 points.

Behind the feuding duo ahead, once more Rea couldn’t quite get into the mix as he kept a watching brief in third place, while Alex Lowes enjoyed a competitive outing on the KRT Kawasaki to cross the line just adrift of his team-mate in fourth.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi crept further up the order following a disappointing first race to complete the top five, while Axel Bassani’s last lap overtake for sixth on Andrea Locatelli means he has nudged ahead of his countryman for fifth in the overall standings.

Michael van der Mark - a surprise wet weather winner for BMW in this race last year - scored his best result since returning from injury with a fine run to eighth, the Dutchman getting the edge on stablemate Loris Baz.

Setting the order for the first three rows on the grid for Race 2, both benefited from a late crash for Garrett Gerloff at Turn 3 while the American held eighth.

2022 WorldSBK Championship | Portimao, Portugal | Superpole RACE RESULTS

2022 WorldSBK Championship | Portimao, Portugal | Superpole RACE RESULTS | Round 9 / 12
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata YamahaYamaha R110 Laps
2Alvaro BautistaESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+0.123
3Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+1.434
4Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+1.976
5Michael Ruben RinaldiITAAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+3.965
6Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+5.969
7Andrea LocatelliITAPata YamahaYamaha R1+6.067
8Michael van der MarkNEDBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+11.297
9Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+11.945
10Xavi ViergeESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+12.014
11Philipp OettlESPTeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+12.692
12Iker LecuonaESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+12.937
13Scott ReddingGBRBMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+15.165
14Lucas MahiasFRAPuccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+18.996
15Eugene LavertyIRLBonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR+20.677
16Jake GagneUSAAttack Performance Yamaha R1+20.816
17Marvin FritzAUTiXS YARTYamaha R1+24.172
18Luca BernardiSMRBarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+24.575
19Leon HaslamGBRTPR Pedercini RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+25.909
20Kohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1+26.206
21Leandro MercadoARGMIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R+26.421
22Christophe PonssonFRAGil Motor SportYamaha R1+27.390
23Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R+29.711
24Oliver KonigCZEOrelac VerdNaturaKawasaki ZX-10RR+45.459
DNFGarrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha TeamYamaha R1 
DNFRoberto TamburiniITAMotoxracing TeamYamaha R1