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Rachit Thukral

Aragon WSBK: Bautista scores back-to-back wins for Ducati

Having ended a two-year victory drought in only his second race back at Ducati earlier on Sunday, Bautista replicated the same result in the final race of the season opener after emerging on top in an early duel with Rea.

The Spanish rider didn’t make the best of the starts from pole position, allowing Rea through into the lead at Turn 1 and Toprak Razgatlioglu up to second place at Turn 4. 

However, having quickly repassed the Yamaha, Bautista retook the initiative at Turn 16 with a brave dive up the inside of Rea into the long left-hander.

Rea and Bautista continued to fight for position for the first part of the race, with the lead changing hands multiple times over the course of each lap.

Their battle was effectively decided on lap 5 when, having slipped again behind Bautista, Rea ran wide over Turn 1 while defending from Michael Ruben Rinaldi and dropped to fourth behind Razgatlioglu’s Yamaha.

Rea did repass Razgatloglu quickly but it wasn’t until lap 11 that he could complete a move on Rinaldi, by which time Bautista had built a 1.5s buffer from himself up front.

And having yet more pace to unleash on his Ducati, Bautista cruised to the finish line, taking the chequered with a victory margin of 4.4s from Rea as the Ulsterman was forced to settle for the second spot yet again after winning Saturday’s opening contest.

Behind, Rinaldi couldn’t keep up with the pace of the leading duo as the race wore on, dropping behind reigning champion Razgatlioglu with just three laps to run and missing out on a podium finish for the second race running.

Rea’s teammate Alex Lowes bagged a healthy tally of points for Kawasaki after finishing fifth, with Axel Bassani again finishing as the top independent rider on the Motocorsa Ducati in sixth.

Bonovo MGM rider Loris Baz rose from 13th on the grid to seventh at the flag on what was otherwise a woeful race for BMW, after passing the two factory Hondas by lap 7 of 18.

Xaxi Vierge and Iker Lecuona were classified eighth and 10th respectively aboard the two HRC-entered CBR1000RRs, separated by the GRT Yamaha of Garrett Gerloff.

Ilya Mikhalchik bagged a solitary point in 15th after a crash in the Superpole race forced him to start from the back of the pack, while Scott Redding’s nightmare first weekend with BMW continued as he was forced to retire from the race with technical problems.

Kohta Nozane was the only other retiree from the race, the Japanese rider suffering a spectacular crash just a few laps from the finish.

Aragon WSBK - Race 2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati  
2 65 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki  
3 1 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha  
4 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati  
5 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Kawasaki  
6 47 Italy Axel Bassani Ducati  
7 76 France Loris Baz BMW  
8 97 Spain Xavi Vierge Honda  
9 31 United States Garrett Gerloff Yamaha  
10 7 Spain Iker Lecuona Honda  
11 44 France Lucas Mahias Kawasaki  
12 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty BMW  
13 5 Philipp Oettl Ducati  
14 2 Italy Roberto Tamburini Yamaha  
15 37 Illia Mykhalchyk BMW  
16 29 San Marino Luca Bernardi Ducati  
17 16 Italy Gabriele Ruiu BMW  
18 23 France Christophe Ponsson Yamaha  
19 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha  
20 35 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin Honda  
21 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado Honda  
22 52 Oliver Konig Kawasaki  
23 84 Belgium Loris Cresson Kawasaki  
  3 Japan Kohta Nozane Yamaha  
  45 United Kingdom Scott Redding BMW  
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