Brilliant Bautista who clinches two extraordinary wins on Sunday at Portimao. Rinaldi on the podium in race 2. Bulega (P2) battles until the final curve in WorldSSP
A legendary weekend at Portimão for Aruba.it Racing and Ducati. After Saturday’s triumph in Race-1, reigning World Champion Alvaro Bautista also won the Superpole Race and Race-2, and with 56 wins in total he becomes the Ducati rider with the most wins in WorldSBK. Bautista’s hat-trick crowns a weekend of great celebrations, which also saw the conquest of the World Riders’ Title in WorldSSP with Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP Team) and the Manufacturers’ title in both categories. Good news also from Michael Ruben Rinaldi: P6 in Superpole Race before a splendid podium (P3) in Race-2.
Bautista’s feat at the Portuguese circuit began in the morning with a heart-stopping Superpole Race in which the Spanish rider climbed from fifth on the grid to second place, before making the decisive attack on Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) at the last corner. In Race 2 the emotions are even greater: having started from P1 on the grid, the Spanish rider of the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Team becomes the protagonist of one of the most beautiful duels of the 2023 season with Toprak Razgatlioglu, from which he still comes out the winner at the last corner.
Bautista’s victory number 56 aboard the Panigale V4 R also gives him a historic record. In fact, the Spaniard is now the Ducati rider with the most wins in the Superbike World Championship in a ranking that includes such true legends of Borgo Panigale history as Chaz Davies (28), three-time world champion Troy Bayliss (52) and four-time World Champion ‘King’ Carl Fogarty (55).
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #1)
“A really exciting weekend. I certainly didn’t expect to score a hat-trick and what makes me particularly proud is that I won fighting every corner with Toprak, who I congratulate because he was a really tough but always fair opponent. I have to admit that I enjoyed it very much: he never allowed me to match my pace, attacking me on every lap. I stayed focused, trying not to make mistakes. The championship? I’ll tell you the truth: it’s only fair that the title is awarded at Jerez and I hope many fans come for the round”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“Unfortunately the yellow flag that took me off the front row in qualifying on Saturday affected the whole weekend. In Race 1 we also had a technical problem that forced me to retire. This morning I tried to manage the Superpole Race well in order to start a few rows ahead in Race-2 and I succeeded. I remained focused all the time, without giving up and I think this podium is the right reward for the bad luck we had on Saturday”.
Nicolò Bulega ends the triumphant weekend at Portimao as the new WorldSSP World Champion with second place in Race-2 and a thrilling duel with Manzi (Yamaha) in the last lap.
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“I had a lot of fun today fighting with Montella and Manzi. The last lap with Stefano was exciting and I congratulate him. We were missing something today, we were not at 100% but that did not stop me from fighting for the win until the last corner. It’s a good sign because it means that we can still be competitive in all conditions. Now I enjoy the title. See you at Jerez”.