#AragonWorldSBK Sunday roundup: WorldSBK, WorldSSP, WorldSSP300
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) bounced back spectacularly from his Race 1 disaster to seize victory in Race 2. The Spaniard, now third in the all-time winners’ list, showed his mettle by notching up his 53rd WorldSBK career win. Behind him, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) tried to keep his championship hopes alive with a determined second-place finish. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who previously won Race 1, secured the final spot on the podium, confirming a strong form in the latter stages of the season.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who started with a strong lead but couldn’t maintain his front position, fought hard to secure fourth place. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) put in a solid performance to clinch fifth place. The Italian rider got off to a promising start, steadily gaining positions, and managed to hold his ground amidst the competition, finishing just a second behind Rea. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) rounded out the top six.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was a prominent figure in WorldSBK Race 2 at Aragon. He made a significant impact by storming into second place early in the race. Unfortunately, his race took an unexpected turn due to a technical issue, which forced him to drop out of contention.
In a fiercely contested WorldSSP Race 2 at MotorLand Aragon, Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) displayed his dominance, securing his fourth consecutive win. Bulega shot ahead right from the beginning, setting a new race Lap Record on Lap 2. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), his closest Championship rival, started from fifth on the grid to finish second. However, Bulega’s win, coupled with a five-point gain over Manzi, did not secure him the 2023 FIM Supersport World Championship title just yet.
The Red Flags waved on the final lap due to Niki Tuuli (PTR Triumph)’s crash* at Turn 4, determining the results at two-thirds distance. Bulega celebrated his 13th win this season, setting the stage for a potentially Championship-clinching race in Portimao.
Behind the leading duo, Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) showcased his skills by capturing third place, marking his 33rd podium appearance in the World Supersport Championship. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) strategically opted for an SC0 rear tire and finished fourth, while his teammate Marcel Schroetter closely trailed in fifth. Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) equaled his best WorldSSP result, securing sixth position.
As the title fight intensifies, Bulega currently holds an 85-point lead over Manzi, needing just 75 more points in Race 1 to claim the coveted Championship.
* Niki Tuuli was taken to the medical centre, and he was conscious following the crash. He was declared unfit with a left shoulder injury and chest contusion, and was transported to Alcaniz Hospital for further assessments.
In Race 2 at MotorLand Aragon, Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) showcased his prowess by sealing a dramatic victory, bringing him one step closer to clinching the WorldSSP300 Title. Buis’ strategic last-corner maneuver saw him edge out Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) by a mere 0.021 seconds, expanding his Championship lead to a commanding 30 points. With the Dutch rider victory, Kawasaki claimed their fifth Manufacturers’ Title in the series.
Meanwhile, Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) delivered a spectacular performance, storming from 15th to clinch third place. The nail-biting race concluded with a mere 0.097-second gap separating the top three contenders, setting the stage for an enthralling championship showdown in Portimao.
Not to be overlooked, Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) secured fourth place with an epic comeback, followed closely by German rider Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) in fifth, and Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki), who claimed the sixth position by a mere 0.003 seconds, rounding out the top six finishers in Race 2.