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Estoril WSBK: Bautista wins with last-corner pass on Razgatlioglu

Bautista initially dropped to fourth place behind the Yamaha of Andrea Locatelli in the early stages of the race and, by the time he managed to repass the Italian, he was already three seconds behind the leading duo of Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea.

But as last year’s title contenders lost time fighting for the lead, Bautista managed to close in on the back of the duo as the race progressed and turn the race into a three-way battle for victory.

On lap 16, when Razgatlioglu covered the inside line under braking for Turn 1, Rea was forced out wide, allowing Bautista to come through and snatch second position.

For the remainder of the race, Bautista kept the pressure up on Razgatlioglu as Rea dropped behind the pair, with the two separated by just a few tenths in the final laps of the contest.

It appeared that Razgatlioglu was on his way to score a first win of 2022 when he successfully defended from the Ducati rider into Turn 1 on the final lap. But the Turkish rider made a poor exit coming out of the last corner, enabling Bautista to come through and snatch a sensational victory for Ducati.

Bautista’s winning margin was 0.126s as he extended his championship lead with his fourth win of the 2022 season in seven starts.

Behind, Rea took the chequered flag almost five seconds down on the leading duo, having been unable to keep up to the pace of Bautista and Razgatlioglu with his harder-compound rear tyre.

The Ulsterman was fortunate to finish the race after clipping the rear of Razgatlioglu’s Yamaha at Turn 6 in the early stages of the race.

Further back, Locatelli was a clear best of the rest in fourth, ahead of the Hondas of Xaxi Vierge and Iker Lecuona.

The two Honda riders were able to pass the struggling BMW of Scott Redding in the closing stages of the race, with the British rider slipping to eighth after being overtaken by fellow countryman Alex Lowes on the second factory Kawasaki.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi initially dropped outside the top 10 but was able to gain some ground later to finish ninth, just ahead of top independent rider Loris Baz on the Bonovo MGM BMW.

Xaxi Fores did an incredible job as a last-minute replacement for injured Philipp Oettl to finish 11th on the Go Eleven Ducati, ahead of the similar Panigale V4 R of Axel Bassani (Motocorsa).

Estoril WorldSBK - Race 1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati 33'58.478  
2 1 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha 33'58.604 0.126
3 65 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 34'03.313 4.835
4 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha 34'15.557 17.079
5 97 Spain Xavi Vierge Honda 34'17.585 19.107
6 7 Spain Iker Lecuona Honda 34'17.693 19.215
7 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Kawasaki 34'20.434 21.956
8 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding BMW 34'21.568 23.090
9 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 34'22.582 24.104
10 76 France Loris Baz BMW 34'23.690 25.212
11 12 Spain Xavi Fores Ducati 34'25.994 27.516
12 47 Italy Axel Bassani Ducati 34'29.164 30.686
13 29 San Marino Luca Bernardi Ducati 34'38.077 39.599
14 3 Japan Kohta Nozane Yamaha 34'38.121 39.643
15 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty BMW 34'40.213 41.735
16 17 Germany Marvin Fritz Yamaha 34'40.332 41.854
17 44 France Lucas Mahias Kawasaki 34'41.268 42.790
18 23 France Christophe Ponsson Yamaha 34'48.560 50.082
19 35 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin Honda 35'07.418 1'08.940
20 52 Oliver Konig Kawasaki 35'07.457 1'08.979
21 32 Spain Isaac Viñales Kawasaki 2 laps  
  36 Argentina Leandro Mercado Honda