Bautista dominates with perfect Race 1 in Indonesia. Rinaldi crashes at first corner. Bulega (WorldSSP) gets a bad start from pole but scores a P5 finish
Alvaro Bautista conquers his fourth consecutive victory in the 2023 WorldSBK season. Michael Rinaldi starts with high ambitions but he crashes at the first corner.
These are the high lights of Race-1 for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team at the Mandalika circuit (Lombok Island, Indonesia)
Starting from third position, Bautista clings on to Ragzatlioglu (Yamaha), lapping with an extremely incisive pace. On lap six the Spaniard takes the lead of the race and then he passes under the chequered flag five seconds ahead of Toprak.
After a very good Friday and a positive qualifying (P4), Rinaldi gets off to a good start but at the first corner, he is unable to control the bike and crashes, hitting his head. Medical checks ruled out complications and Rinaldi will be back on track tomorrow.
P1 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #1)
“It was not as easy as it may have seemed. With such high temperatures, it was very important to manage the tires in the best possible way, lap after lap. In the first part of the race I was behind Toprak trying not to stress the front tire too much. Then I realized I had the potential to overtake him and also to break away from the chasing group, which was large. I am happy because last year we struggled a lot at this circuit. This means we have made an important step”.
DNF – Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“I am sorry for the crash, especially because I couldn’t see how things were going to go. Given the way the race went, I think we could definitely have fought for the podium, so my disappointment is double. Luckily the crash had no consequences for me or the other riders on the track. The potential, after yesterday’s practice and this morning, was high. Now we just have to think about having a good race tomorrow”.
Nicolò Bulega took his first Pole Position in WorldSSP but a light rain that fell during the grid procedures spoiled his plans. On the damp track, in fact, the Italian rider’s feeling was not the best. In the first two laps, Bulega lost the chance to fight for the podium but he still managed to limit the damage by finishing in fifth position.
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“I am very happy with the first pole position but in the race, I was not able to push as I wanted. I was struggling a lot in certain sectors and that didn’t allow me to attack and recover positions after the first two difficult laps. No doubt we have to work to improve for Race 2”.