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Rachit Thukral

Aragon WSBK: Bautista wins Superpole race on Ducati return

Having returned to the Ducati team with which he made an explosive start to his WSBK career in 2019, Bautista was untouchable in the 10-lap sprint on Sunday morning to clinch pole position for the main race later today.

The Spanish rider pulled away cleanly from second position and followed polesitter Razgatlioglu in the opening sequence of corners, before pulling off a brilliant maneovure over his Yamaha rival into Turn 4 - despite coming from a long way back on his Panigale V4 R.

Having dispatched the reigning championship, Bautista was able to stretch a sizeable gap out front, aided by Rea and Razgatlioglu engaging in a battle of their own along with the second Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi, his advantage over the rest of the field already over a second on lap 4.

From there on Bautista cruised to the finish, taking the chequered flag by over three seconds to clinch his 17th victory in WSBK - and the first since the series’ Argentina round in 2019.

Some way behind the Spaniard, Rea emerged on top in a thrilling three-way battle with Razgatlioglu and Rinaldi to secure the best of the rest spot on the podium.

Rea launched his Kawasaki up the inside of Razgatlioglu under braking for Turn 1 on lap 8, but this unsettled the Yamaha rider, allowing Rinaldi to pass both riders in one swoop.

But the six-time world champion was determined to regain the position and made the decisive move going into Turn 7 on the penultimate tour, leaving Rinaldi into the clutches of Razgatlioglu.

After several failed attempts, Razgatlioglu finally managed to clear the Ducati of Rinaldi going into Turn 16 on the final lap, the two riders crossing the finish line separated by just 0.059s.

Behind the fighting trio, Andrea Locatelli finished fifth on the factory Yamaha, while Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) recovered from a DNF on Saturday to take sixth and open his points account for 2022.

The top 10 was rounded off by top independent rider Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati), Honda duo Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge, and the GRT Yamaha of Garrett Gerloff.

Aragon WSBK - Superpole race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati  
2 65 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 5.141
3 1 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha 6.008
4 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 6.067
5 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha 7.532
6 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Kawasaki 7.623
7 47 Italy Axel Bassani Ducati 8.801
8 7 Spain Iker Lecuona Honda 10.127
9 97 Spain Xavi Vierge Honda 11.414
10 31 United States Garrett Gerloff Yamaha 11.476
11 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty BMW 13.795
12 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding BMW 15.408
13 76 France Loris Baz BMW 15.564
14 44 France Lucas Mahias Kawasaki 18.529
15 2 Italy Roberto Tamburini Yamaha 22.786
16 5 Philipp Oettl Ducati 22.818
17 29 San Marino Luca Bernardi Ducati 24.011
18 3 Japan Kohta Nozane Yamaha 25.367
19 16 Italy Gabriele Ruiu BMW 32.598
20 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado Honda 32.661
21 23 France Christophe Ponsson Yamaha 35.858
22 35 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin Honda 36.631
23 52 Oliver Konig Kawasaki 37.920
24 84 Belgium Loris Cresson Kawasaki 37.980
  37 Illia Mykhalchyk BMW  
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