#GBRWorldSBK Donington: Sunday roundup, World Superbike and World Supersport
It was an inseparable duo at the front of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field in Race 2 at Donington Park but Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was able to hold on after consistent challenges from Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) to take his first hat-trick in WorldSBK during the Prosecco DOC UK Round.
Like in the previous two races of the weekend, Razgatlioglu led into Turn 1 but, unlike Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race, he was unable to escape from his rivals as Rea stuck with him throughout the race usually within just a couple of tenths of a second. On Lap 3, Rea initially got past into Turn 9 but Razgatlioglu responded immediately into Turn 11 with the same happening again on Lap 6 after Razgatlioglu was a bit offline through the Foggy Esses.
At the start of Lap 14, Razgatlioglu was able to start opening up the gap to Rea after resisting 13 laps of constant pressure from the six-time Champion, with the pair often alongside each other on the run down to the Foggy Esses. The pair were able to drop Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), with the Spanish rider taking his first podium of the weekend, although Bautista was able to attack Rea in the closing stages of the race, with Bautista passing Rea on Lap 19 at Turn 11 to move into second place with Ulsterman Rea finishing in third place.
The results mean all three riders in the 2022 title fight have now taken a WorldSBK hat-trick in their career, with Razgatlioglu the latest to join the exclusive club following his three wins. Razgatlioglu has now taken 22 WorldSBK wins in his career and 66 podiums while Yamaha now sit on 99 wins. Bautista’s second place gave him his 40th WorldSBK podium while Ducati now have 999 podium placements in the Championship, with Rea moving on to 228 podiums in his career.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed fourth place at Donington Park and, for the lap after his teammate overtook Rea, looked like he would be able to challenge the six-time Champion for the podium spot but the gap stabilised at 1.2 seconds. Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) concluded a very strong weekend with fifth place, with Redding leaving his home round with a third, fourth and fifth-place finish. He was ahead of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in sixth, with Lowes and Redding seemingly inseparable throughout the three races as they often battled on track.
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) was once again the lead Independent rider, repeating his Race 1 feat, as he secured yet another top-seven finish, his tenth in the first 15 races of the season. The Italian finished ahead of compatriot Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in eighth place, with Italian more than seven seconds clear of an incredible fight for ninth place. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) took home ninth place after a battle with four other riders for ninth place, passing Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) in the latter stages of the race.
Lecuona had to fend off a late challenge from American rider Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) with the Spanish rider coming out on top by just 0.084s; Lecuona remains the only rider to have scored top ten finishes in every race this season. Gerloff was just half-a-second clear of rookie Philipp Oettl (Team Goeleven) in 12th with Lecuona’s Honda teammate Xavi Vierge less than a second back from Oettl. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) completed then points-paying positions with 15th place, the wildcard fighting his way up for field after being given a five-place grid penalty for irresponsible riding following a crash with Vierge in the Superpole Race.
Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) was another who fought his way up the field as he claimed 16th place, finishing seven seconds clear of Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) in 17th place. Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was 18th after losing a couple of positions in the closing stages of the race, and the Japanese rider withstood a late charge from wildcard Peter Hickman (FHO Racing) who finished 19th. Hafizh Syahrin (MIE Racing Honda Team), Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) and Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) rounded out the classified riders.
Ukrainian rider Illia Mykhalchyk (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was the first retirement of the race after he had a Lap 3 crash at Turn 7. Leon Haslam (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) retired from the race when he brought his bike into the pitlane on Lap 8 of 23. Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) was the final retirement after he came out of the race in the closing stages of the race.
Race 2 at Donington Park for the FIM Supersport World Championship was a record-equalling affair for Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) as he made it nine wins in a row after a late-race charge during the Prosecco DOC UK Round. Aegerter dropped to as low as fourth on Lap 8 but was able to battle his way back to victory, meaning he has won nine races in a row in 2022 to equal the record set by Andrea Locatelli in 2020.
Aegerter was forced down to fourth place on Lap 8 as both Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) came through at Turn 11, with all three looking to chase down Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) at the front of the field. Baldassarri passed Caricasulo at Turn 9 on Lap 10 before passing Bulega at the Old Hairpin on Lap 16. Aegerter, on the same lap, passed Bulega at Turn 11 before passing his title rival at the same corner a lap later.
Aegerter went on to claim victory by just 1.063s ahead of Baldassarri in second, for the seventh team this season they have finished in this order, with Aegerter making it nine wins in a row and his 19th in WorldSSP. He also has 26 podium visits in 31 races. Baldassarri claimed his seventh consecutive podium while Bulega claimed his sixth podium; the 130th for Italy in WorldSSP and he matches Jonathan Rea for podiums in WorldSSP.
Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) had been fighting in the podium places but lost out on Lap 10 to Baldassarri at Turn 9 and on Lap 11 at Turn 1 to Aegerter, with Caricasulo claiming fourth place, his best result of this season. He finished ahead of Italian duo Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) and Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP); with Manzi fighting his way through the field to claim fifth spot. It means, for the first time, five riders from one country finished inside the top six in WorldSSP.
Rookie Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) equalled his best finish in his maiden WorldSSP season with seventh place as he battled with Turkish rider Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) on the last lap. Oncu had been in the lead group but dropped back as the race progressed to finish in eighth place. Andy Verdoia (GMT94 Yamaha) claimed ninth spot ahead of wildcard Simon Jespersen (CM Racing) in tenth.
Mattia Casadei (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) missed out in a top ten finish by just under a second behind Jespersen, while the Italian was three seconds clear of Unai Orradre (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP), who bounced back from a difficult Race 1 with a points finish. Orradre was four seconds clear of rookie Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Team) who secured another points finish in his maiden campaign. Stand-in rider Isaac Vinales (D34G Racing) claimed points on his WorldSSP return with the Spanish rider the highest-placed WorldSSP Challenge rider. Italian rider Leonardo Taccini (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) rounded out the points with 15th place, finishing just ahead of Hungary’s Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team).
Tom Booth-Amos (Prodina Racing WorldSSP) claimed 17th place as he recovered from a Turn 11 crash on Lap 3, with Ondrej Vostatek (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP), Ben Currie (Motozoo Racing by Puccetti), teammate Jeffrey Buis and Federico Fuligni (D34G Racing) rounding out the classified riders in Race 2 at the end of the 19-lap race.
Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) retired from Race 2 on the opening lap after contact with Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) at Turn 1, with van Straalen able to continue in the lead group, although the Dutchman crashed out at Turn 11 and retired from the race. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) crashed on Lap 2 that put the WorldSSP Challenge competitor out of the race. Wildcard Harry Truelove (ColinAppleyard/Macadam-Yamaha) retired from the race in the early stages, along with Maximilian Kofler (CM Racing) and Sander Kroeze (Kallio Racing). Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) crashed out of the race on Lap 8 at Turn 6. Hannes Soomer (Dynavolt Triumph) enjoyed a strong start to the race but brought his bike to the pits on Lap 9. Kyle Smith (VFT Racing) also crashed out of the race at Turn 11.