#EstorilWorldSBK Saturday roundup: World Superbike, World Supersport, World SSP300
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship descended on the Circuito Estoril and it was a thriller in Portugal as Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed a stunning victory after an epic scrap between him, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) throughout the race. Bautista secured his first victory at Estoril during the Estoril Round as he extended his Championship lead.
Razgatlioglu got a good start from second on the grid to lead into Turn 1 with Rea in second and it was a precursor of what was to come during the 21-lap race. The pair consistently switched positions throughout the race with Turn 1 the overtaking hotspot between the two with eight overtakes at Turn 1 just between Rea and Razgatlioglu between Lap 6 and Lap 16. There was contact between the two on Lap 3 at Turn 6 with both able to continue, and from there the battle raged on. There were differing tyre strategies on the grid with Rea on Pirelli’s SC0 standard rear tyre and the SC1 development front while Razgatlioglu and Bautista both used the SCX standard rear tyre and SC1 standard front tyre.
With the duo running line astern, the rider in second often used the slipstream to get the run into Turn 1 to move into the lead with the pair swapping positions on multiple laps as they searched for victory in order to close the gap in the Championship standings to Bautista. The pair switched position, at Turn 1, eight times but it was an error on in the closing stages from Rea that allowed Bautista through.
On Lap 16, Bautista was able to take advantage of Rea running wide as he looked to move around the outside of Razgatlioglu, with Bautista moving up to second place and Rea dropping to third place. Rea lost time to the pair leaving Bautista and Razgatlioglu to fight it out. This battle went down to the final run to the line with Bautista just pipping Razgatlioglu by 0.126s after getting a better run off the final Turn 13 corner.
Victory for Bautista puts him on 20 wins for in his WorldSBK career and his fourth win of the 2022 season, extending his Championship lead to 27 points over Rea and 50 to Razgatlioglu. It was also Ducati’s 380th victory in WorldSBK. Razgatlioglu’s second place gave him his 59th podium in WorldSBK and keeps up his 100% podium record at Estoril; the only rider to have this stat. Rea’s third place gave him his 221st podium in WorldSBK and his 179th with Kawasaki.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) claimed fourth place after benefitting from Bautista running wide at Turn 1 on the opening lap, before battling with Bautista for third place. While Bautista was able to pass Locatelli on Lap 5 before Turn 1, using the power of the Ducati, the Italian rider was able to finish in fourth place ahead of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) and teammate Iker Lecuona.
Vierge overtook Lecuona in the closing stages of the 21-lap race to claim his first top five result in WorldSBK, finishing just a tenth ahead of his teammate. The duo battled with Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), running a special yellow livery to celebrate the 50th anniversary of BMW’s M brand, in the early stages of the race before Redding dropped back behind both Honda riders and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK); Lowes finishing seventh and Redding in eighth.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finished ninth after making late-race progress to move inside the top ten, finishing around one second behind his former teammate. He was also a second ahead of Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW), who rounded out the top ten and finished as the Best Independent Rider in Race 1.
After being called up at the last minute to replace the injured Philipp Oettl, Xavi Fores (Team Goeleven) finished in 11th place with a big gap both ahead and behind him, battling his way up from 15th place on the grid. Hr was around three seconds clear of Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in 12th place, while Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) battled up to 13th place, fending off Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) by just half-a-tenth at the line. Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) made it two Independent BMW riders inside the points with 15th place; just a tenth ahead of Marvin Fritz (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) as he substituted for Roberto Tamburini and just missed out on a point.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished in 17th place ahead of Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) in 18th. Hafizh Syahrin (MIE Racing Honda Team) was in 19th place ahead of Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in 20th and Isaac Vinales (TPR Team Pedercini Racing). Vinales brought his Kawasaki ZX-10RR into the pits, and lost two laps, before re-joining the race and being classified in 21st place.
Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) retired from the race on the opening lap of the race after a Turn 7 crash. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) did not race after being declared unfit following their respective crashes throughout the weekend.
Saturday’s action at the Circuito Estoril came to a dramatic conclusion with Race 1 for the FIM Supersport World Championship with Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) claiming his fourth consecutive victory. The reigning Champion had to battle back after losing ground at the start of the race before going on to claim victory by around three seconds to extend his Championship lead.
Aegerter dropped back at the start of the race to lose ground to Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) and Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) with the Italian rider taking the lead through Turn 1. A mistake from Bulega at Turn 6 dropped him down to fifth place on the opening lap while Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was the big mover over the opening two laps, first gaining from eighth before overtaking two riders at Turn 1 at the start of Lap 2.
It wouldn’t be until Lap 8 that Aegerter would take the lead of the race as he took advantage of Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) and Oncu battling for the lead to pass the pair into Turn 1, and from there the reigning Champion did not look back as he went on to claim his fourth win of the 2022 season by more than three seconds ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) who also had to battle back after losing out at the start. Oncu ran in third place until the final lap before Bulega made his move at Turn 1 on the Turkish star for the final podium place, with Oncu coming home in fourth place.
Victory for Aegerter means he now has 14 wins in WorldSSP and 21 podiums, putting him level at tenth in the all-time list with Stephane Chambon, Kevin Curtain and Katsuaki Fujiwara. Baldassarri’s second place gave him his fourth podium of this rookie season and he also claimed Italy’s 120th podium in WorldSSP while Bulega made it three podiums in 2022 after a strong start to his rookie campaign.
Federico Caricasulo (Althea Ducati) has shown strong pace at Estoril in WorldSSP in both 2021 and 2022 and continued that with fifth place in Race 1 as he finished ahead of Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) with the Italian taking his best result of 2022 and his equal-best in his WorldSSP career. Van Straalen had been applying pressure to race winner Aegerter after the reigning Champion made his move, but a crash at Turn 9 dropped him down the order. Despite this, the Dutchman battled back to claim seventh spot after losing 13 seconds with the crash.
Reigning WorldSSP300 Champion Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) continued his strong start to the season with a career-best eighth with Andy Verdoia (GMT94 Yamaha) in ninth. Verdoia lost ground in the opening stages of the race but was able to stabilise the losses before claiming a season-best result. The youngest rider on the grid, Ondrej Vostatek (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP), claimed his best result of his WorldSSP grid with a top ten finish.
Kyle Smith (VFT Racing) was involved in the battle for a top-ten finish but had to settle for 11th ahead of Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Team) in 12th. Bayliss had shown strong pace in the closing stages of the race but was unable to move himself into the top ten, finishing in 12th. Simon Jespersen (Kallio Racing) received a late call-up to race this weekend and battled his way up to 13th place, ahead of Leonardo Taccini (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) as the Swiss rider rounded out the points with 15th place.
Tom Edwards (Yart – Yamaha WorldSSP) battled back from a Lap 3, Turn 9 crash to finish in 18th place on his second wildcard event, finishing behind Unai Orradre (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP) and ahead of Sander Kroeze (Kallio Racing). Luca Ottaviani (Altogo Racing Team) was 21st after serving a Long Lap Penalty in the race, ahead of Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) with a 12-second gap; De Rosa had to take a double Long Lap Penalty and was then served with a Ride Through Penalty for not completing his Long Lap Penalties. After gaining positions in the final stages of the race, Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) crashed at Turn 9 and re-joined, finishing in 23rd ahead of Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) who had a Turn 6 crash on the opening lap.
Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) did not take part in the race after he suffered a technical issue on the sighting lap, with the Italian rookie unable to take his place on the starting grid. It was a double retirement for the Dynavolt Triumph squad after Hannes Soomer retired following a Turn 3 crash on Lap 5. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) had been running inside the top ten but a crash at Turn 4 on Lap 10 forced the Finn out of the race. On the same lap, Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) had a crash at Turn 1 which put him out of the race, while Ben Currie (Motozoo Racing by Puccetti) brought his bike into the pits. Maximilian Kofler (CM Racing) was another retirement from the race after completing 14 laps.
The FIM Supersport 300 World Championship kicked off racing action at the Circuito Estoril as Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) claimed his second win of the season, and with it the Championship lead, after a race-long battle with Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) in Race 1 for the Estoril Round. After the duo broke away from the chasing pack, the battle for the race win came down to the run to the line on the last lap with just 0.041s separating the duo at the end of the 12-lap race.
Both Garcia and Di Sora were able to break away from the chasing pack as they worked together, with Di Sora using the slipstream to pass Garcia down the start and finish straight before Garcia used the slipstream on the run down to Turn 1 and outbraking the Frenchman on the inside. This was a pattern that continued until the final two laps, when Di Sora made a move into Turn 6 on Lap 11 of 12. Garcia responded into Turn 1 on the final lap before Di Sora made an overtake into Turn 3 for the lead of the race. Despite pulling away in the final sector, Garcia used the slipstream from Di Sora to take victory by just 0.041s at the end of the 12-lap contest.
Victory for Garcia means he now has six WorldSSP300 victories, putting him level with Scott Deroue and Adrian Huertas at third in the all-time list in the class as well as claiming Yamaha’s 15th win and Spain’s 28th win in WorldSSP300. Di Sora’s podium gave Kawasaki their 120th podium in WorldSSP300 and him his ninth, putting him level with 2019 Champion Manuel Gonzalez.
Polesitter Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) claimed third place after his incredible Superpole performance where he broke the lap record, ensuring he claimed his seventh WorldSSP300 podium. Okaya had a margin of more than one second to Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) who finished in fourth place, who had to fend off plenty of riders for fourth place.
Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) was fifth but just 0.034s behind Steeman, while Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team), who had been fighting for the lead at around halfway point, a further 0.006s back. Race 1 was yet another epic comeback for Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) as he battles from 23rd to claim seventh place. Rookie Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) took eighth place as he recorded another top-eight finish in his rookie campaign.
Both Ruben Bijman (MTM Kawasaki) and Dirk Geiger (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) had sanctions in the race, with Bijman taking a double Long Lap Penalty and Geiger a Long Lap Penalty for slow riding, but were able to claim ninth and tenth respectively, with Geiger just 0.039s back from Bijman.
Alex Millan (SMW Racing), returning from injury, finished just 0.012s outside the top ten and came home in 11th place, ahead of Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) who had a trip through the gravel on Lap 5 after being caught up in an accident involving Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) at Turn 2, dropping the Italian down the order. Alessandro Zanca (Kawasaki GP Project) equalled his best WorldSSP300 finish with 13th place, just a tenth behind his teammate, with Marco Gaggi (Vinales Racing Team) in 14th and wildcard Dinis Borges (Rame Moto Racing) securing the final point in his wildcard appearance, fending off Fenton Seabright (Vinales Racing Team) by just 0.045s.
Enzo Valentim Garcia (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) started last after being unable to set a lap time in Superpole and he battled his way up to 18th place, although was running inside the top ten at one point; as the Brazilian rider, standing in for Ton Kawakami, showed his potential after a challenging day. Valentim Garcia has in 2022 been competing in the Yamaha R3 European Cup, claiming three podiums and two wins in four races so far.
Tomas Alonso (Quaresma Racing Team) and Yeray Saiz Marquez (Accolade Smrz Racing) collided at Turn 1, with Alonso retiring from the race following the crash, with Saiz Marquez able to re-join the race and finish in 29th place. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) crashed out of the race on Lap 5 after a Turn 2 crash. Harry Khouri (Team#109 Kawasaki) was a late retirement from the race after he suffered from a technical issue late on in the race.