Bulega sweeps WorldSSP at round 12 to conclude 2023 season.
Back-to-back Superbike World champion Alvaro Bautista notched three race wins to conclude the season at Jerez, securing the 2023 title as Italian Nicolo Bulega swept the Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP) races.
Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) wrapped up the championship in race one, winning by 1.195s ahead of closest challenger Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon) in second, 1.195s behind at the checkers.
Teammate Andrea Locatelli was a distant third, ahead of Yamaha-bound Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in P4 and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) in fifth.
The Superpole race saw Bautista victorious again, this time leading GYTR GRT Yamaha’s Dominique Aegerter, with Rea third ahead of Razgatlioglu and Locatelli. Notably, the race had to be restarted after two laps after Aegerter’s bike started smoking, but he was permitted to restart.
Race two saw Razgatlioglu take the checkers first, but was demoted one position for exceeding track limits at turn 13 on the final lap, meaning Bautista was ultimately victorious again. P2 for the Turkish rider marked his 100th podium with Yamaha.
Swiss rookie Aegerter was three-tenths away from victory in third, while Australia’s Remy Gardner concluded the season on a strong note with P4, ahead of Petrucci inside the top five. Unfortunately, Rea’s fairytale ending with Kawasaki didn’t come to fruition as he crashed out at turn five, but still finished a comfortable third in the standings behind Bautista and BMW-bound Razgatlioglu.
WorldSSP champion Bulega continued his dominant run in the category, concluding the year by sweeping the race wins in class at Jerez.
Championship number two Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) finished second in race one, ahead of Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) in third, while it was Manzi and Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who completed the top three in the final encounter.
Third place in the WorldSSP title race, Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) brought out the red flags in race two with his bike hitting the fence at turn 13, causing a safety concern. The restarted outing was contested over seven laps.
Australia’s Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing) made his return from surgery to the WorldSSP grid, notching 18-18 finishes as he banked important race time before the season concluded.