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HOT HEADLINES FROM ARAGON: “I want to bite my tongue… it gave me a hit of humility”

The tenth round is ticked off, the sun is starting to set on the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship but certainly not on the title race. An incredibly unpredictable Tissot Aragon Round saw it all, with headlines starring on the track, off of it and before the round even got underway. Therefore, picking through the hot headlines of the weekend, they’re rather picante from Alcaniz.

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati): “I learnt a lot this weekend, it gave me a hit of humility”

Ahead of Aragon, Championship leader Alvaro Bautista looked odds on for a triple, but it didn’t start that way with Race 1, as the Spaniard reflected on his blunder: “I learnt a lot this weekend, it gave me a hit of humility, because even at a track which fits you very well, you can’t have a lot of confidence. You have to be always focused and keep working and never, ever trust in anything else apart from the feeling you have with the bike. You have to do your best. We analysed the data and it was clear; in that corner, when you turn right, you have to push the front to change direction and you lose the front many times. In that moment, I lost a bit more. There wasn’t a mistake because I entered one way or another but on Sunday, I paid more attention, I was more smooth to not have the same mistake.”

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK): “I want to bite my tongue… it’s very frustrating”

After setting a sensational lap record in Superpole, the races were a different story for Jonathan Rea: “I was disappointed with the outcome of Race 2; I didn’t see us struggling that much to be honest, it was a bit of a curve ball. Overall though, it’s been a positive weekend. I was really disappointed with the Superpole Race, after all the good work and the opportunity. I wanted to force Alvaro that way at the final corner so I could outbreak him but he came by so fast. When you can ride with that margin, it’s a different race. There’s different energy in the tyres, consumption… fair play, he played his cards and won the race. I didn’t think he was playing because the lap times were incredibly fast. On the straight, I’m not sure! This is why I need mirrors to check. Every lap, I was getting +0.1 on the pit board but I didn’t know the margin I was pulling in the first sectors and then how much he closed in the straight.”

Rea then turned his attention to the next round at Portimao, where another long straight could prove detrimental: “At Portimao, you come onto the straight in fourth gear, so you can carry momentum but then over the rise it is fifth and sixth… I wish I could say more but I want to bite my tongue because it’s very frustrating.”

Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati): “I have nothing to lose, I wish it was at the beginning of the season”

Talking about the smoke billowing out from ahead of him, Michael Ruben Rinaldi encountered Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) right at the wrong point, before going on to state that he wishes this form was earlier in the year: “As soon as I had the possibility to overtake him, I did, because I only had four or five tenths to Toprak but it was very bad for four or five turns. I lost the opportunity to fight with Toprak for P2 but I am happy to jump on the podium. Toprak was pushing hard but chapeau to ‘Loka’, he did an amazing job and didn’t deserve to end the race like that. I have nothing to lose but I wish it was at the beginning of the season. But it isn’t and that’s part of life; we live and we learn.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK): “It’s been a strange year! If I hadn’t have crashed twice, everything is different!”

Reflecting on taking points out of Bautista’s title advantage and what could’ve been if he hadn’t crashed earlier in the year, Toprak Razgatlioglu said: “It’s the first time I’ve been second here, and it was twice this weekend. It’s been a strange year! Every weekend it’s changing. If I hadn’t crashed twice, everything is different. Here, the bike is completely different and this year, I feel a little bit strange with the engine brake. Every race weekend, we’re trying to improve it and sometimes it feels good, sometimes it doesn’t. In Race 1 and the Superpole Race, I felt very good. In Race 2, we tried a different setup for turning and the bike completely changed. I needed a bike that turns, we tried to soften the front fork. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not.”

Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing): “Without my crew chief, it was difficult to work”

Without crew chief Simone Corsini this weekend, who was at home for personal reasons, Axel Bassani came from the depths of despair on Friday to a solid P5 on Sunday: “It was impossible for me to have a good feeling with the bike, I had no feeling with the front on corner entry, it was closing every time. In Race 2, I tried to arrive to the end to get good points from the Championship. We tried a lot of things. After a weekend like this, it’s a really good result but I want to battle for the podium, not the top five. Without my crew chief, it was difficult to work and I missed a really important person in my box, maybe the most important person in the box. It was difficult to explain to the guys in the box what I feel. I hope he’s with us at Portimao and we work normally. This weekend wasn’t a normal one as we didn’t do the test, this track isn’t my best and we were without a chief engineer.”

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC): “We improved a lot!”

A return to the top six for Iker Lecuona, who made it two P6 finishes on Sunday after a top ten on Saturday: “We expected this weekend that this is our level but at the test, Yamaha weren’t there, so for sure, Toprak and Andrea would be ahead. I’m still really happy, we improved a lot, I worked hard alone to have a good pace and in the end, Race 2 was good. I recovered nearly two seconds to Bassani but I couldn’t fight with the Ducati right now, so I just wanted to finish the race.”

Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven): “I don’t have a job for next year… main target to stay in WorldSBK”

Despite a strong weekend at Aragon, Philipp Oettl confirmed he’s not got a ride for 2024: “After the summer break, we had three top ten finishes and now we just work calmly. I have a lot of pressure because I don’t have a job for next year. I feel very free because I will find something good. It’s a very interesting period because it’s very late in the season to have nothing. There’s a lot of talk but there’s nothing. I don’t know where I go. On one side, you can say it’s a very unsure future but in the summer break I was thinking a lot about the mindset, and I think I found something that helped me. For me, it was clear there was a rider change for next year. I understand them and now I focus on myself. I’ll try to get results to try and be interesting to some other adventure or teams. My main target is to stay in WorldSBK and I would like to find a competitive seat.”

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UPS AND DOWNS: title contender crashes, a drought ends and a stunning comeback…

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship descended on MotorLand Aragon, and it was a dramatic tenth round of the 2023 season. There were more title twists at the Tissot Aragon Round, a return to winning ways for one rider after a long wait and epic comebacks after disappointing Saturday mornings. Check out some of the ups and downs from an unforgettable visit to Spain.

BACK TO WINNING WAYS: Rinaldi stuns for first victory in two years

Two years after his last win, Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) returned to the top step after a two-year wait in Race 1 on Saturday. He gained from his teammate crashing but his race pace and consistency were second to none as ha battled both Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) for victory. Although his outright pace wasn’t as quick, it was more consistency and his drop off was less which allowed him to pass his rivals. Almost exactly two years on from his last win, the #21 was back on stop.

AN EPIC COMEBACK: from P24 to P5 for Petrucci

Saturday started off badly for Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) after crashing in the Tissot Superpole session, but he responded in style in Race 1. He was 17th by the end of Lap 1 and already in the top ten after just four completed laps. Progress was understandably slower as he reached the top ten, but he was still able to take fifth to finish as the top Independent rider. He didn’t make the same progress in Sunday’s Tissot Superpole Race – finishing 12th – which meant he started at the back for Race 2. In Sunday afternoon’s race, Petrucci was about to surge into the top positions before a technical issue forced him to retire.

HONDA’S STEP FORWARD: a consistent return to the top six

After having a successful test at Aragon a few weeks before the round, hopes were high that Honda would be competitive. Those hopes transpired as they finished all three races in the top ten with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and teammate Xavi Vierge. Lecuona, using Honda’s new superconcession chassis, took two top-six finishes as well as sixth in the Tissot Superpole session, to show Honda’s pace and potential while Vierge was matching his teammate. Will this translate to Portimao and Jerez?


Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) had been one of the stars of the Race 2 show on Sunday. From the second row, the #55 immediately leapt into the top two and briefly took the lead at the start of Lap 2 before dropping back. Throughout the majority of the race, the Italian was able to keep teammate Razgatlioglu at bay but a technical issue with just a handful of laps left meant he finished no points after a race where he deserved so much more.

SATURDAY DISASTER FOR BAUTISTA: two crashes close up the title fight

Heading into the Aragon Round, it had looked like Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) would be hard to beat. Formidable pace in testing a few weeks prior and his incredible form this year meant he was the favourite, especially when he took the lead of Race 1. However, his race soon unravelled. A crash at Turn 8 on Lap 6 dropped him down the order. The Spaniard fought back to P15 on the final lap but, as he looked for 14th at the final corner, crashed again and retired from the race. With Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) finishing second, the Turk closed the gap in the title fight by 20 points. The #1 did respond on Sunday with a Superpole Race win and also in Race 2.

Next stop, Portimao! Watch every moment LIVE and UNINTERRUPTED using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now €9.99!


“One of the best races of my life!” – Locatelli ecstatic despite Race 2 retirement

Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) had been enjoyed one of his strongest performances of the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign in Race 2 at MotorLand Aragon before a technical issue put him out of contention. The Italian was running in second and directly ahead of teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu when smoke started billowing out of his machine, with the Italian retiring which potentially cost him a first Tissot Aragon Round podium.

Locatelli started from fourth on the grid for Race 2 and immediately jumped into second place behind Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). The six-time Champion led until Turn 1 on Lap 2 when ‘Loka’ overtook him under braking on the inside at Turn 1. Locatelli’s lead only lasted a few corners as reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) came flying past and pulled clear of the chasing pack.

This left the #55 battling with teammate Razgatlioglu for second place, after he got by Rea, with the Italian able to hold off the 2021 Champion’s attacks despite Razgatlioglu aiming to limit the damage to Bautista in the Championship fight. With just a few laps remaining, smoke started coming out of Locatelli’s Yamaha YZF-R1 machine and he was shown the ‘meatball’ flag towards the start of Lap 14 after he suffered a broken oil radiator, an issue Yamaha stated was ‘almost unheard of which is being investigated fully’. However, the Yamaha star kept riding his bike back to the pits and the FIM Stewards sanctioned him with a back of the grid penalty for his next race for not respecting the flag.

Despite his race ending prematurely, Locatelli was delighted with how it was going until the tech issue. He stated: “Honestly, it was fun. It’s probably one of the best races of my life! Just a bit unlucky. We had a broken oil radiator and lost something. When I saw the oil was a bit on my leg, it was unfortunately only with three laps to go. I could do nothing. We have always been lucky without problems and sometimes this happens. It’s a strong weekend in the end. We showed our potential and I think this is the best thing to do. We will see what we can do in Portugal at Portimao but I’m feeling really confident.”

Expanding on his battle with the #54, Locatelli added: “I understood a lot during the race, and I tried to find a bit more grip on the rear. We worked a lot on the setup of the bike, especially after the Superpole Race. We found a good solution. We had a bit of an advantage on the exit of corners, and it was also great under braking. When Toprak overtook at Turn 7, I felt something at Turn 5, and it was probably because the radiator started to break. I lost the rear grip a bit many times and, in the end, I needed to stop the bike.”

Next up, Portimao: watch every moment using the comprehensive WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!


CLOSING IN ON HISTORY: Buis’ hard-fought Race 2 win puts him in pole position for Portimao title decider

Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) put one hand on the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship trophy after a brilliant display of riding at MotorLand Aragon. The Dutchman left it until the last corner to claim victory and extend his Championship lead to 30 points. Buis held on by just 0.021s over Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) on a drag race to the line for Race 2 of the Tissot Aragon Round.

HISTORY BECKONS: Buis on the verge of a new record

Buis got away well as the lights went out and immediately looked to build a gap over his rivals, initially extending it out to over seven tenths across the first lap. While the chasing group were squabbling, Buis was able to maintain his lead, but the gap started to close across the second lap. Buis remained ahead until Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) came through. On Lap 4, the #6 had a scruffy lap including a huge moment on the exit of Turn 12, which cost him time and positions.

He was soon back into the top four though as he looked to prevent Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) gaining too much on him in the Championship standings as the Spaniard moved into the lead briefly. On Lap 7, Buis moved back into the lead as he looked to put one hand on his second WorldSSP300 title. Perez Gonzalez got ahead at Turn 12 on the same lap before they slipstreamed each other down the back straight.

Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) used the outside line on the entry to Turn 16 to great effect to sweep into the lead on both Lap 9 and 11 although he lost it at Turn 1 on the final lap. At the final corner, Buis moved into the lead and held on from Vannucci to claim his fourth win of the season and 11th overall. It was also his 20th podium, tying him with Scott Deroue, and it helped Kawasaki secure the 2023 Manufacturers’ Championship. Vannucci took his eighth podium while Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) battled from 15th to third for his second podium. The top three were separated by just 0.097s.

TITLE FIGHT DRAMA: the gap extends to 30 points

Gennai finished fourth after his epic comeback by just 0.268s, with German rider Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) in fifth and exactly two tenths back from Gennai. Despite Veneman’s surge up the order, he finished down in sixth place after the #60 pipped him to the line by just 0.003s. Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) took seventh place in the thrilling race ahead of Devis Bergamini (ProGP Racing) in eighth. The Italian had crossed the line in ninth but a penalty for Perez Gonzalez, for exceeding track limits on the final lap, promoted him to eighth ahead of the Spaniard. With the gap now 30 points between Buis and Perez Gonzalez, the #6 can wrap up the title in Race 1 at Portimao. Britain’s Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) was in the top four in the latter stages of the 12-lap fight but dropped down to 10th place, only 0.085s. He set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to show his consistency. Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) was 11th and the last rider within a second of the leader.

AWAY FROM THE LEAD GROUP: still able to score points

Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) was another who had been in the lead group but dropped down the order in the latter stages, eventually finishing in 12th and two seconds back from Sabatucci. Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) was 13th ahead of Unai Calatayud (Arco Motor University Team) in 14th. The Spaniard was just 0.012s behind Garcia but he was a second clear of Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) who was the last points scorer.

HOUSEKEEPING: drama until the end

Christopher Clark’s (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) second race ended early after he crashed at Turn 4 on the opening lap, while Troy Alberto (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) went down at the same corner a lap later, while teammate Petr Svoboda crashed on Lap 11 at Turn 8. Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) had been in the large lead group but a Turn 12 crash on Lap 9 forced him out of the race. Marc Vich Gil (Arco Motor University Team) retired with technical issues while teammate Ruben Bijman crashed out at Turn 1 on Lap 12.

The top six from WorldSSP300 Race 2, full results here:

1. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki)

2. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) +0.021s

3. Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) +0.097s

4. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) +0.268s

5. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) +0.468s

6. Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) +0.471s

Fastest Lap: Fenton Seabright, Kawasaki – 2’06.780s

Championship standings

1. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) 194 points

2. Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) 164

3. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) 147

4. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) 131

5. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) 130

6. Petr Svoboda (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) 121

The title decider is up next at Portimao: watch every moment using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!


Razgatlioglu full of praise for ‘surprise’ Locatelli, “fantastic” to score three Aragon podiums

The tenth round of the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is in the history books as MotorLand Aragon’s track action comes to an end. The Tissot Aragon Round wasn’t supposed to be a track where Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) could eat into Alvaro Bautista’s ( Racing – Ducati) Championship lead – on paper at least. However, races aren’t decided on paper; Razgatlioglu took P2 as Bautista crashed in Race 1, which saw him take 20 points out of Bautista, whilst he only gave up ten on Sunday in what was billed to be a damage limitation weekend for the Turk.

A thrilling battle in the Superpole Race saw Razgatlioglu in the fight for victory but he wasn’t able to overcome his rivals, as Bautista came through on the final lap at Turn 4, before he went on to win, defeating Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on the last drag down the back straight. In Race 2, Razgatlioglu wasn’t able to stay with Bautista who broke clear and had trouble passing teammate Andrea Locatelli. However, with five laps to go, smoke started billowing out from the #55 Yamaha, with Toprak quick to disperse of his Italian colleague. Locatelli retired after being shown the ‘meatball’ flag, which gave Razgatlioglu breathing space over Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati), meaning he only lost ten points to Bautista on Sunday, with a net gain of ten compared to the start of the weekend.

Speaking about his Race 2 P2, Razgatlioglu said: “In general, I’m really happy because Friday was a disaster, but we made big improvements, and I took three podiums this weekend. This is fantastic. In Race 2, Locatelli was very strong, and he was riding very calmly. I saw Alvaro was very strong and my teammate. I was waiting, following him and maybe in the last laps I could start to fight. After I saw Rinaldi coming, I said, ‘this time, I need to fight with Rinaldi because I need P2 because I need good points for the Championship’. I saw some smoke and immediately passed Locatelli. I got P2 and this is good, but I’m also really surprised at Locatelli. He made a big improvement for Race 2. Maybe in the last laps, we’d have fought. I’m very happy for him, but it’s bad luck for him to not finish the race.”

Razgatlioglu’s net gain of ten points means the gap is 47 up to Alvaro Bautista in the standings, down from a high of 98 after Race 1 at Imola. With six races to go, reigning World Champion Bautista remains the favourite for back-to-back crowns, although it’s now not as straightforward as it could have been back in July and before the August break.

With 13 races where he’s finished second to Bautista, if he does so again at Portimao – where he won twice last year – then the title race goes to the final round at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. Bautista needs a points swing of 15 at the Pirelli Portuguese Round, whilst the form book suggests Razgatlioglu will keep taking profit of mistakes and dramas for the #1.

2023’s title race is unmissable; enjoy it for just €9.99 with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


“We have to keep fighting… everything is possible” – Bautista on title fight situation

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) picked himself up and dusted himself down – twice – to bring the home crowd to the feet with a fine return to winning ways on Sunday. It started by leaving it late in the Tissot Superpole Race at MotorLand Aragon, hitting the front on the approach to the final corner, whilst his pre-round form of being able to lead from the front and put time into his rivals came true in Race 2, with a strong Sunday double to keep Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) at arm’s length in their title fight.

SUNDAY ROAST: awesome Alcaniz to overcome Race 1 blunder

Sunday morning saw Bautista beaten on the short shoot to Turn 1, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) leading from the Spaniard, whilst Toprak Razgatlioglu was all over the Ducati’s rear wheel. It was like scenes from 2022; the titanic trio back to their best, with the riders and their bikes working well at different points of the circuit. Rea was able to continuously pull a gap of up to eight tenths before the back straight, although Bautista would haul himself back into contention by Turn 16. However, on Lap 7, Bautista hit the front briefly at Turn 1 but the six-time World Champion was resilient and pushed the Spaniard out at Turn 2, allowing for Razgatlioglu to pounce at Turn 3. On the final lap, Bautista responded on Toprak at Turn 4 with a bold move, whilst at the front, it looked like Rea had it in the bag until going wide at Turn 12, allowing the Ducati into position to fly by on the straight, holding on through the final two corners to take victory.

In Race 2, the Championship got the holeshot from his hard-earnt pole position following his Superpole Race victory, with rivals Rea and Razgatlioglu close behind. Rea did lead at Turn 4, whilst Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) also got into P2 at Turn 6, before he went on to take the lead briefly at Turn 1, pushing Rea wide and allowing Bautista into P2. Bautista found his way through to the lead at Turn 4 on Locatelli before easing clear, setting consistent lap times to take a second victory.

HIS OWN WORDS: Bautista happy with Sunday fight back, wary of Razgatlioglu threat

Speaking about his Sunday double, Bautista was elated: “I am so happy to get two victories on Sunday. Since Misano, I haven’t won two races on a Sunday! I’m happy, especially today, because I can reset from yesterday. We started from zero from the feeling I had and in Warm Up, I felt very good. In the Superpole Race, it was amazing with Jonathan, Toprak and myself. We did a great race with three different rear tyres, so the level was really high. I felt good as the pace was so fast and, in the end, I was able to overtake them both on the last lap. I thought I could fight for the victory and I just tried, without thinking about anything else. I’m happy as I did my best.”

Talking about Race 2, Bautista continued: “In the afternoon, the conditions were very critical as it was very hot and it wasn’t easy for the tyres – life or the performance. From the first lap, I felt the rear spinning a lot and I didn’t have good traction. I tried to not push the rear a lot and I forced the front more and after mid-race, I felt a drop on the front and in many corners, I felt like it was closing. Fortunately, I had a good gap and I could manage the distance. In two very different races, we were able to be competitive. It’s not been an easy weekend but it’s been good for the feeling of the bike and we have to keep fighting; we can’t make more mistakes. This weekend, I’ve learnt that even if a track fits well to me and the bike, you can’t be confident 100%. In the races, everything is possible and anything can happen. I think we need more humility and try to stay focussed and not to relax.”

THE MATHS FOR TITLE NUMBER TWO: it sounds easy, looks easy, but this is WorldSBK

Bautista needs a points swing of 15 at the Pirelli Portuguese Round if he is to be crowned World Champion for a second consecutive season, although he’s won there just twice for Ducati – 2019’s Race 2 and the Race 2 from last year. However, the form guide suggests Razgatlioglu will keep taking profit of mistakes and dramas for the #1, with the deficit coming down from a high of 98 points after Imola’s Race 1 to a current 47. Six races remain in the 2023 season; mathematically, Bautista can finish third in every race if Razgatlioglu wins them all – although the difference would be just a single point despite a hair-raising start to his title defence.

2023’s title race is unmissable; enjoy it for just €9.99 with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


BOUNCING BACK: Bautista buries Race 1 blunder with brilliant Sunday double

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) responded in the perfect style from his Saturday mistakes at MotorLand Aragon as he claimed Race 2 victory during the Tissot Aragon Round. The Spaniard was under early pressure but took his 53rd MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship win to write his name into the history books. Behind him, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) finished second as Bautista extended his Championship lead to 47 points with two rounds to go.

FIGHTING FOR THE WIN: Bautista adds history, Locatelli and Razgatlioglu fight

The holeshot belonged to Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as the lights went out but Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was the big mover as he stormed into second place behind his future teammate. On Lap 2 at Turn 1, ‘Loka’ passed the six-time Champion under braking to move into the lead, albeit briefly as Bautista came through at Turns 4 and 5. Despite the Italian’s best efforts, Bautista started pulling out a gap to claim victory and bounce back from his Saturday disaster.

With the #1 extending his lead over Locatelli, it turned into a three-way fight between Locatelli, Razgatlioglu and Rea although Race 1 winner Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) did close in on the trio. The #65 started losing ground to the two Yamahas directly ahead, leaving them to fight for second and third, before the #21 overtook Rea at Turn 16 to move into fourth. The Italian was then able to leave Rea in his wake as he closed on the Yamaha duo ahead.

Razgatlioglu got ahead of his teammate on Lap 15 before the #55 was forced to bring his bike into the pits after a technical issue with this Yamaha YZF-R1 machine, dropping the Italian out of contention after a strong performance to keep his teammate behind. This promoted Rinaldi to the third and final podium spot, although he did lose time to Razgatlioglu and was unable to close the gap to the 2021 Champion.

Bautista’s victory means he is now on 53 in WorldSBK and moves into third in the all-time winners’ list, going ahead of Troy Bayliss. It was also the 90th Spanish win and his 83rd podium, while Razgatlioglu has 110 career podiums. With 28 podiums to his name this season, he’s only one shy of his personal best tally in a single season. For Rinaldi, his eighth podium of the year means he’s now scored the most in one season – one better than his previous best of seven.

IN THE TOP SIX: securing a good finish to the Aragon Round

Locatelli’s technical issue promoted Rea back into fourth place although he was some 14 seconds down on Bautista and seven behind Rinaldi after losing ground after the Italian passed him. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) salvaged fifth on Sunday. He got off to a good start to gain places and, despite his pace dropping off in the closing stages, the #47 was able to finish just a second behind Rea and almost two seconds clear of Iker Lecuona (Team HRC). The Honda rider had shown rapid pace all weekend and converted that into a top six finish.

BEST RESULT SINCE ASSEN: van der Mark impresses at Aragon

Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) concluded his Aragon weekend with another top-ten finish as the German finished P7, four tenths clear of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) in eighth. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was another who had a good weekend as he took ninth, finishing as the second Yamaha rider, while Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) made a late-race move on Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) to claim tenth. The two BMW stars were separated by just six tenths at the end of the race.

RETURNING TO THE POINTS: heading to Portimao full of confidence

The Dutchman finished four tenths clear of Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in 12th with the #77 fending off Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW). Baz took 13th as he responded from not taking part in the Sunday morning Superpole Race. Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was 14th as he finished four seconds behind Baz. The #45 was in a French sandwich with Florian Marino (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) completing the points-paying positions with 15th. Marino, standing in for the injured Alex Lowes, overtook Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) in the closing stages to secure his first point since San Juan Race 1 2018.

Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) was two seconds away from the points but he was able to finish six seconds clear of Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 18th. Eric Granado (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) and Isaac Vinales (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) battled it out for 19th place with the Brazilian coming out on top by just under three tenths, while Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing MOVISIO) was the last classified rider in 21st.

HOUSEKEEPING: technical issues prevent comebacks

Gabriele Ruiu (Bmax Racing) was the first retirement when he brought his BMW M1000RR machine into the pits on Lap 5, with Hafizh Syahrin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) following shortly after. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) had been making progress from the back of the grid but a technical issue when he was closing in on another strong comeback forced him out of the race.

The top six from WorldSBK Race 2, full results here:

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati)

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +4.064s

3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +7.109s

4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +14.007s

5. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +15.270s

6. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) +17.104s

Fastest Lap: Alvaro Bautista, Ducati – 1’50.206s

Championship standings

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) 504 points            

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 457

3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 328

4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 275

5. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) 237

6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) 213

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FOUR IN A ROW: Bulega beats Manzi in red-flagged WorldSSP Race 2, coronation on hold

Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) will have to wait to win the 2023 FIM Supersport World Championship title despite victory in Race 2 at MotorLand Aragon. His title rival, Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), finished directly behind the #11 during the Tissot Aragon Round as the pair asserted their supremacy over the rest of the field but the five-point swing in the #11’s favour meant he was not crowned Champion in Spain.

BULEGA VS MANZI: top two finish 1-2

Bulega got the holeshot when the 15-lap race started and looked to clear off into the distance. The #11 set a new race lap record on Lap 2 when he posted a 1’53.191s as he moved two seconds clear of his rivals before the gap stabilised at just over 2.5 seconds. With Bulega setting the fastest lap of the race, he wrapped up the Pirelli Best Lap Award. Behind him, title rival Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) – the only rider who can stop Bulega being crowned Champion – battled his way up to second from fifth place on the grid, although he gained a free position due to Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) being penalised with a back of the grid start for a tyre pressure infringement.

Both Bulega and Manzi were matching each other for pace in the low 1’54s as they kept each other in check with neither taking a huge amount of time out of the other. The pair finished first and second which means the title fight will continue to Portimao next week. The gap between them is 85 points and the Ducati star will be crowned Champion in Race 1 next week if he finishes 75 points or more clear of his rival.

In the mid-stages of the race, Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) started closing in on the #62 directly ahead to reduce the gap to just over a second before the Yamaha rider responded to ensure ‘Carica’ stayed more than a second away.  By the start of Lap 15, the gap was down to eight tenths before the red flags came out on the final lap. The race was stopped following a crash for Niki Tuuli (PTR Triumph) at Turn 4. The Finn was taken to the medical centre, and he was conscious following the crash.

With the race reaching two-thirds distance, the results were declared at the last completed timing point for each other. Bulega took his 13th win of the season and takes his fourth consecutive win; the first time he’s reached this milestone in WorldSSP. Manzi’s second place gave him his 18th rostrum visit while Caricasulo took his 33rd.

A DIFFERENT STRATEGY: Sofuoglu’s choice pays off

Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was one of a few riders to use the SC0 rear tyre and he used this to great effect as he claimed fourth, only a second away from Caricasulo. He was only half-a-second clear of teammate Marcel Schroetter in a close-fought battle for fourth. Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) equalled his best WorldSSP result to date with sixth, benefitting from a crash for Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) on Lap 10 at the final chicane with dropped the Spaniard out of contention.

RETURNING TO THE TOP TEN: Montella fights back

Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) was back in the top ten as he finished in seventh ahead of Montella in eighth. The Italian had started from the back of the grid but soon battled his way up to the top ten, before finishing in eighth and only 11 seconds away from Bulega despite having to overtake several riders throughout the whole race. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was ninth and four tenths back from Montella, while Nicholas Spinelli (VFT Racing WEBIKE Yamaha) returned to the top ten for the first time since Imola Race 1 as he rounded out the top ten.


Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) strengthened his grip on the WorldSSP Challenge title with 11th place, missing out on a top ten by just under a second. He was six seconds clear of Ondrej Vostatek (PTR Triumph) in 12th as the Czech rider fended off a charging John McPhee (D34G Racing) in 13th. The Brit made his first appearance with Ducati machinery this weekend and responded from a Race 1 crash to take points, finishing only 0.062s behind Vostatek. Tom Edwards (Yart-Yamaha WorldSSP Team) was 14th with Yeray Ruiz (MDR Offitec Yamaha) rounding out the points-paying positions.

HOUSEKEEPING: retirements from Race 2

Glenn van Straalen’s (EAB Racing Team) race came to an early end when he crashed on the exit of Turn 1 on the opening lap when he highsided. while Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) retired after he crashed at Turn 14 on Lap 13.

The top six from WorldSSP Race 2, full results here:

1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team)

2. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing WorldSSP) +2.284s

3. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +3.076s

4. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +3.935s

5. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +4.418s

6. Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +7.753s

Fastest Lap: Nicolo Bulega, Ducati – 1’53.191 (New Lap Record)

1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) 408 points

2. Stefano Manzi Ten Kate Racing WorldSSP) 323

3. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) 269

4. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) 210

5. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) 159

6. Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) 149

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LAST-LAP FIGHT: Bautista moves from third to first on the final lap after Titanic Trio battle

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) went from third to first on the final lap of the Tissot Superpole Race as he bounced back in perfect fashion in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. The reigning Champion attacked Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on the last lap as he led only one corner throughout the race at MotorLand Aragon.

TITANIC TRIO FIGHT: last corner decides the race

Rea got the holeshot for the 10-lap race and kept the lead throughout the first half of the race ahead of Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK). At the start of Lap 6, Bautista had his first look at race leader Rea at Turn 1 but the six-time Champion defended under braking. A lap later and Bautista tried the same move, but Rea defended around the outside to give him the inside line for Turn 2. This allowed Rea to retain the lead and Razgatlioglu, using the SCQ tyre, to pass the reigning Champion through Turn 3. The trio remained nose-to-tail, but Bautista put in a stunning last lap to move from third to first, passing the #54 at Turn 5 before overtaking Rea at Turn 16 after the #65 ran slightly wide at Turn 12.

The results mean Bautista’s claimed his 52nd WorldSBK win, and he also took the 200th podium for Spain, while Rea took his 26th podium in 26 races at Aragon; a new all-time record for a single track. Razgatlioglu took his 109th rostrum which moves him level with four-time Champion Carl Fogarty. In terms of the Championship, it means Bautista gained five points on Razgatlioglu to extend his lead back up to 42 points.

ROW TWO FOR RACE 2: three riders in two seconds

In the early stages, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was remaining around a second away from the ‘Titanic Trio’ but dropped five seconds back to claim fourth for the second race in this year’s Aragon Round. He was exactly one second ahead of Race 1 winner Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) in fifth while Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) took sixth place. Locatelli, Rinaldi and Lecuona were separated by two seconds at the flag and will make up the second row for this afternoon’s Race 2.

JUST MISSING OUT: a closely-fought battle for the third row

Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) narrowly missed out on a second row start with seventh, finishing 1.568s behind his teammate, with the riders on row three this afternoon separated by just over a second. The #97 was eight tenths clear of Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) who put in another strong performance. He was just 0.356s ahead of Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) as the American secured a third-row start for Race 2, and finishing as the lead BMW rider.

HOUSEKEEPING: Petrucci outside the top nine, three retirements

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) couldn’t repeat his Race 1 heroics as he battled his way from the back of the grid to 12th. Despite climbing up the order, he’ll start Race 2 from last after not setting a time in the Tissot Superpole session. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) started from inside the top nine but ran wide at the opening corner and dropped down the order. He finished in 15th. Eric Granado (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team), Gabriele Ruiu (Bmax Racing) and Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) all retired from the race.

The top nine from WorldSBK’s Tissot Superpole Race, full results here:

1. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati)

2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.179s

3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.296s

4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +5.013s

5. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +6.013s

6. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) +7.024s

7. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) +8.592s

8. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) +9.384s

9. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +9.740s

Fastest lap: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) – 1’49.028s, new lap record

Who will come out on top in Race 2? Find out at 14:00 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!


Petrucci pips Bautista by 0.038s to claim Warm Up honours at Aragon

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) continued his strong MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship form with top spot in Sunday Warm Up for the Tissot Aragon Round. ‘Petrux’, who completed a memorable comeback in Race 1 at MotorLand Aragon, was 0.038s clear of fellow Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) during the 15-minute Warm Up as both riders swapped fastest lap times and top spot.

Petrucci and Bautista traded positions during the 15-minute session with the #9 the first to dip into the 1’49s bracket with around five minutes remaining in the session as he posted a 1’49.829s, lapping 0.175s quicker than the reigning Champion. Although Bautista improved his time to a 1’49.867s, he finished 0.038s behind Petrucci as he looks to bounce back from his two Saturday crashes. The two Ducati stars were the only riders to lap in the 1’49s bracket in Warm Up, with third place going to Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) as the Italian set a 1’50.196s.

Race 1 winner Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) took fourth, only four tenths down on Petrucci while he was only 0.031s quicker than Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in fifth. Positions fourth to sixth were taken up by yesterday’s rostrum with Rea fifth and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), who took second in Race 1, in sixth after posting a 1’50.535s.

American superstar Garret Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) was the fastest BMW rider on Sunday morning in seventh after setting a 1’50.652s, although there was little to separate him and Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in eighth. The duo were only 0.012s apart at the end of Warm Up, while two Honda riders completed the top ten. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) are often hard to keep apart on track and the timesheets and that continued in Warm Up. The #7 was the lead Honda after setting a 1’50.671s, with his teammate 0.006s slower.

Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) did not set a time. The Frenchman spent the majority of the session in his box before leaving for one out lap.

The top six from WorldSBK Warm Up, full results here:

1. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) 1’49.829s

2. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) +0.038s

3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.367s

4. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +0.418s

5. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.449s

6. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.706s

Who will win the Superpole Race? Find out at 11:00 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!