Ducati factory rider Alvaro Bautista wins the first race of the 2023 World Superbike Championship season at Phillip Island (Australia) in difficult conditions. The reigning titleholder prevailed over his World Championship challengers Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha).
Starting grid and start of the race
The race started with a delay of 15 minutes due to the chaos in the first round of the Supersport World Championship. At the start of the race, the track was completely wet. Toprak Razgatlioglu was on pole and shared the first row of the grid with World Champion Alvaro Bautista and rookie Dominique Aegerter (GRT-Yamaha). All riders started the race on rain tires. Alvaro Bautista got the best start and moved into the lead in the sprint to turn 1. Jonathan Rea stormed from the second row to second position. Toprak Razgatlioglu slipped to third position.
On the first lap, Jonathan Rea took the lead. Alvaro Bautista came out of the first lap in second. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) rode in third position. BMW rider Michael van der Mark crashed on lap two and was out of the race. After a third of the race distance, Bautista came closer to Rea and reduced the gap from 1.0 to 0.5 seconds. At the start of the tenth lap, Bautista was within striking distance of Rea. In the Stoner curve, the world champion passed with a spirited maneuver and took the lead. Bautista increased his lead step by step. In turn 8, Bautista experienced a moment of shock, but did not let himself be rattled and drove with the fastest race lap again a lead. Rea lost the connection at the beginning of the final third of the race.
Podium and placings
Alvaro Bautista took victory in the first race of the new season and also took the lead in the riders’ standings. Jonathan Rea finished more than three seconds behind. Razgatlioglu completed the podium, over six seconds behind. The top 3 from 2022 were again on the podium.
Other placings: Andrea Locatelli was fourth, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa-Ducati) finished fifth and Iker Lecuona (Honda) was sixth. The final point went to MIE Honda rider Hafizh Syahrin. Philipp Öttl finished the race in eleventh position. Dominique Aegerter finished behind GRT Yamaha teammate Remy Gardner in 13th position.
Despite difficult conditions, Alvaro Bautista proved his strength and won the first race of the World Superbike season. Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu fought hard but were unable to match Bautista’s performance.
German-speaking riders Philipp Öttl and Dominique Aegerter were unable to translate their strong qualifying result into a good finish and ended up outside the top 10.
The Superpole race and the second main race are still to come. It remains to be seen whether Alvaro Bautista will be able to continue his dominance or whether one of the other riders will challenge him for the win.
Overall, the season opener at Phillip Island was an exciting race with some surprises and disappointments. Fans can look forward to an exciting season with many more thrilling races.
Here’s a rundown of the riders, teams and their times or back-to-back times in the Grand Ridge Australian Round, February 24-26, 2023:
- 1 Bautista – Aruba.it Racing – Ducati – 37’48.672
- 2 J. Rea – Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK – +3.471
- 3 T. Razgatlioglu – Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK – +6.168
- 4 Locatelli – Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK – +16.789
- 5 Bassani – Motocorsa Racing Ducati – +20.918
- 6 Lecuona – Team HRC Honda – +27.015
- 7 X. Vierge – Team HRC Honda – +30.625
- 8 D. Petrucci – Barni Spark Racing Team Ducati – +31.000
- 9 S. Redding – ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team – +37.447
- 10 G. Gerloff – Bonovo Action BMW – +42.591
- 11 P. Oettl – Team GoEleven Ducati – +44.142
- 12 R. Gardner – GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team – +48.833
- 13 D. Aegerter – GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team – +51.617
- 14 M. Rinaldi – Aruba.it Racing – Ducati – +55.010
- 15 H. Syahrin – PETRONAS MIE Racing HONDA Team – +1’15.223
- 16 E. Granado – PETRONAS MIE Racing HONDA Team – +1’17.459
- 17 L. Baldassarri – GMT94 Yamaha – +1’20.226
- 18 L. Baz – Bonovo Action BMW – 1 Lap
- DNF A. Lowes – Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK – 14 Laps
- DNF O. Konig – Orelac Racing MOVISIO Kawasaki – 11 Laps
- DNF T. Sykes – Kawasaki Puccetti Racing – 10 laps
- DNF M. van der Mark – ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team – 21 laps
- Erhöht die Lebensdauer Ihrer Motorradkette und Kettenrads um bis das siebenfache.
- Verbessert die Leistung.
- Reduziert deutlich die Wartung der Motorradkette.
- Sie sparen Zeit, Geld und Nerven.
Letzte Aktualisierung am 2023-10-03 / *Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API