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:
|9||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||34'22.582||24.104|
|21||32||Isaac Viñales||Kawasaki||2 laps|
|View full results|