News 5 Mar 2023

Bautista banks two more victories at Mandalika WorldSBK

Oncu and Caricasulo split wins in second 2023 WorldSSP round.

Image: Supplied. Racing Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista banked two more victories at the second round of the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) in Indonesia to maintain a healthy lead at the top of the standings, despite a fall in the Superpole race.

Bautista ( Racing Ducati) made it four wins on the trot win in race one at Mandalika, overcoming pole-setter Toprak Razgatlioglu on lap five to take a commanding 4.809s victory.

The number 54 ultimately finished second in the first encounter, battling with Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in the opening half before breaking away to lead Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), the Italian making it two R1s on the podium.

Bassani crossed the line fourth, two seconds shy of the rostrum as Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) scored a popular top five, the former MotoGP rider showing positive steps forward in his transition to the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Notably, former WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea was ninth, as Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Michael Rinaldi ( Racing Ducati) did not finish the race.

The Superpole race at Mandalika saw Bautista’s 2023 winning streak come to an end, the Spaniard crashing out of the race with five laps remaining while battling Jonathan Rea behind race-winner Razgatlioglu.

Working his way up to second, Locatelli banked another podium as Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) finished in front of teammate Rea to land the final position on the rostrum, with Bassanni completing the top five. The race was initially red-flagged on lap two following multiple crashes due to lack of adhesion on the circuit, the restarted outing taking place over eight laps.

Notably, Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) was forced to retire after Lowes clipped his dangling leg under braking, the Frenchman riding back to the pits in a visible amount of pain.

Bautista rebounded to take the final victory of the weekend in the second WorldSBK race, leading Razgatlioglu by 1.218s at the conclusion of the outing. An impressive performance from Team HRC’s Xavi Vierge saw the Spaniard land on the podium in P3, ahead of Rinaldi who was running second until the last lap when he made a mistake and ran off the track.

Locatelli completed the top five, as Australian Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha) – who was notably absent from Saturday’s proceedings due to sickness – recovered from the rear of the grid to notch P14 in the Superpole race followed by a strong P7 in race two.

Notably, race two was restarted after seven laps when an incident involving Philipp Oettel (Team GoEleven) and Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) brought out the red flags. The restarted outing was 14-laps.

Looking at the WorldSBK standings after round two, Bautista leads with 112 ahead of Razgatlioglu second on 75 ahead of teammate Locatelli in third with 70 points.

Image: Supplied.

In the opening WorldSSP bout, Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) stormed to take a breakthrough victory in the class, leading Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) and Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph).

Making it four different manufacturers inside the top four, MV Agusta’s Marcel Schroetter took the chequered flag in P4, with Phillip Island winner Nicolo Bulega ( Racing Ducati) completing the top five.

Caricasulo went one better in race two, edging Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) to take his first victory of the season. In third was Bulega, passing race one winner Oncu to secure the position as the Kawasaki rider struggled for pace in the closing stages and slipped to fourth.

Australia’s Oli Bayliss notched 8-12 results, the D34G Racing rider charging forwards from P15 on the grid to bank more valuable points towards the championship.

In terms of the 2023 Supersport World Championship standings, Bulega holds a 20-point advantage ahead of Oncu, with Manzi third a further two points adrift.

Detailed results