News 3 Jul 2023

Defending champion Bautista emerges with two wins at Donington

Bulega sweeps Supersport World Championship at sixth round.

Image: Supplied.

Two more wins at Donington for Alvaro Bautista strengthened the Aruba.It Racing Ducati rider’s lead in the 2023 Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), also ending the Italian manufacturer’s 12-year victory drought at the venue as Nicolo Bulega scored maximum points at the sixth round of the 2023 Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP).

The victories at the iconic 4.023km circuit were not the easiest Bautista has scored this season, overcoming an early battle with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and pole-setter Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in race one.

Behind second placed Razgatlioglu and Rea in third was Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), as Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) completed the top five.

A thrilling superpole race saw Razgatlioglu emerge with the victory, besting Bautista – who made a decisive move for second on the last lap – and Rea. The top three were separated by just 0.537s as Locatelli and Petrucci again featured inside the top five.

The reigning champion returned to P1 in the final encounter of the weekend, taking a 2.650s victory ahead of Razgatlioglu as Petrucci scored his first WorldSBK podium in third position.

Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) delivered a spirited ride to P4, as Jonathan Rea was P5. Notably, a multi-rider crash on the opening lap involving Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.It Racing Ducati), Tom Sykes (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) and Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) saw the race restarted early on after the red flag.

Sykes was diagnosed with a thoracic injury, rib fractures on his right-hand side and a left ankle injury; he was transported to Queen’s Medical Centre for further assessment. Rinaldi was diagnosed with a mild concussion and a right ankle injury.

Australia’s Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha) notched 10-15-12 results across the weekend, as Bautista now holds a 93-point lead ahead of Razgatlioglu in the WorldSBK standings.

Image: Supplied.

It was a commanding showing at Donington for Bulega ( Racing) in WorldSSP, capturing both race wins in the category across the round to stretch out his advantage at the head of the title-race.

Bulega won the opening encounter by 1.231s ahead of title-rival Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), with Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) completing the top three.

The number 11 was victorious by 2.119s in the second encounter ahead of Montella, with Federico Caricasulo (Altea Racing Team) rounding out the rostrum in P3. Notably, Manzi was fifth after an eventful outing.

Tom Edwards was the leading Australian in WorldSSP at Donington, notching 14-14 results as Motozoo ME Air Racing’s Luke Power went 22-24. Unfortunately, Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing) had a highside at the exit of turn 12 during superpole, dislocating his left shoulder and was declared unfit ahead of race one.

In terms of the WorldSSP standings, Bulega now leads on 247 points with Manzi second on 192 and Caricasulo third with 156.

Detailed results