Formula E Season 10 Round 2 & 3: Cassidy Takes Control of the Championship with a Win in Diriyah

 

Round two of the Formula E championship kicked off this weekend in Diriyah, a firm favourite on the electric series calendar, and it certainly did not disappoint. Jean-Eric Vergne led the grid away, taking his first pole position in two seasons, ahead of Mitch Evans in P2. There was a bit of wheel bashing at the start with Vergne taking attack mode very early. This caused him to fall down to P3, as Evans was promoted to the race lead with current world champion Jake Dennis in the hunt in second position. However, in a race where stategy seemed to reign, Evans took attack mode, which allowed Dennis to swoop into the lead. However, the excitement for the world current did not last long – he soon lost the position to Vergne when taking his own attack mode on lap 7. Vergne copied Dennis’ actions the following lap, allowing Evans into contention for the win. Dennis was able to build up a lead in order to take his second attack mode and keep the lead. Evans managed to hold onto P2 while overtaking Vergne on the straight to turn 17.  In the dying stages of the race, there was back and fourth battles between the top three – Evans, Vergne and Dennis. Evans tried to take the lead from Dennis but he overestimated the overtake, went deep into turn 17 and Dennis remained in the lead.

Vergne and Evans continued to battle one another, allowing Dennis to continue to pull clear. Title hopeful Nick Cassidy battled Max Gunther for one of the lower points paying positions, only for this late surge to be hindered by collision with Sam Bird’s McLaren.  The Jaguars struggled in the race due to miscommunication with team orders having an adverse effect. On the last lap, Evans tried to overtake Vergne for second place, he overestimated the gap and fell behind Bird. Dennis claimed victory in the desert by over 10 seconds with Vergne P2 and Cassidy taking the final podium position. Bird finished ahead of Evans in P4 and P5 respectively, Norman Nato claimed P6 ahead of Guenther, Wehrlein claimed P8 whilst Sergio Sette Camara and Robin Frijns rounded out the top ten.

Jake Dennis, Andretti Global, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 Image Credit: Formula E Media Bank

Round 3:

Round three saw an unexected pole position from the returning Oliver Rowland at Nissan ahead of Robin Frijns in P2 and Nick Cassidy in P3. Frijns managed to take the lead away from Rowland at the start with Ticktum having to pit with front wing damage, this eventually caused the Brit to retire. Cassidy maintained P3 at the start with a huge train of cars following each other, but as the attack modes began to be taken, the Kiwi found himself at the front. And from there, he controlled the entire race, buiding up a gap to allow himself to remain in P1 when attack mode had been completed.  However, despite this, Frijns was able to stay within about two seconds of Cassidy for the entire race, a constant threat lurking at the back of the Kiwi’s Jaguar. Sam Bird, who was having a quiet race, managed to make a move on Sette Camara for P9. In a tactical move by drivers, many did not take any attack mode so they could use it at the end of the race – however, this did not apply to the top five.

Rowland managed to get within a second of Frijns, who in turn was closing in on Cassidy.  Bird attempted a  a move on Sacha Fenestraz but he misjudged it, falling behind Wehrlein and eventually, the McLaren man was forced to retire. Jehan Daruvala had an issue with his brakes and was forced to stop at turn 18, causing a yellow flag. Cassidy began to worry about his consumption of energy in the latter part of the race. As the time ticked down, it emerged that Dennis, Evans, Da Costa, Nato and Sette Camara were all under investigation for overtaking under yellow flags. However, this didn’t stop Nick Cassidy from taking his first win at Jaguar. He held off Frijns who finished P2 in his return to Envision Racing ahead of Rowland who managed to secure a podium. Hughes finished just outside of the podium positions, ahead of Vandoorne. Fenestraz claimed P6 ahead of Wehrlein in P7, Vergne clinched P8 with Gunther taking P9 and Dennis taking the final point. The current world champion also took the fastest lap, however, after investigation, Dennis received a five second time penalty promoting Evans to P10 and Cassidy took the point for fastest lap, alongside the championship lead.

Formula E will return in March.

Formula E Season 10 Round 1 Mexico City E-Prix: Wehrlein Takes A Commanding Win after Securing Pole

Pascal Wehrlein secured the victory after starting on pole position for the first round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to kickstart his championship challenge earlier on.

The electric series, in its tenth year got off to an explosive start, with the opening taking place in Mexico, a venue that has been used since the series infancy. Before the action even started, there was already some pre-race drama as Sergio Sette Camara’s ERT was withdrawn from competition due to a technical issue. And the drama didn’t stop there. Stoffel Vandoorne, Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy all received a one place grid penalty due to not following red flag procedures in FP1.

After the drama, Formula E went green for the first time this year. It was a clean start for everyone through the first few corners with Dennis making his way up the grid after his disaster in qualifying. Di Grassi was the first victim in Mexico. Due to a brake issue, he hit the barrier and stopped on track, he managed to limp back to the pits and retire from the race.

Lucas di Grassi, ABT CUPRA Formula E Team, M9Electro Image Credit: Formula E Media Bank

Da Costa and Mueller had an incident a few laps later which resulted in the Porsche driver retiring from the race as he ended up in the wall after an ambitious move on the Abt driver. The incident was investigated after the race  and Da Costa received a three place grid penalty for the next race. Everyone seemed to settle into the race, until more drama reared up, but this time from the steward’s room.  Race control stated that three drivers were under investigation: the Andretti pair of Jake Dennis and Norman Nato and more critically, race leader Pascal Wehrlein. There was no further investigation for Nato but Wehrlein and Dennis were investigated after the race but both also received no further investigation from the stewards.

Pascal Wehrlein, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 Image Credit: Formula E Media Bank

The returning Envision Racing driver of Robin Frijns crashed at turn thirteen, just at the exit of the stadium arena. This resulted in a full course yellow and the safety car made it’s first appearance this season.  Frijns managed to walk away on his own accord. It then emerged that Frijns had an issue with his car before the race so this could have been a factor in his crash.  Before the race was declared green again, man of the drivers had attack mode remaining, including Buemi who was currently sitting in P2. Behind him, Guenther, Evans, Hughes, Dennis, Bird, Fenestraz, De Vries and Daruvala all had one attack mode remaining . The Season 7 champion Nyck De Vries had fallen down the pack at this point and was holding up Ticktum, Daruvala and Mueller, whilst current champion Dennis had a relatively quiet race.

The highlight in the latter stages was certainly the battle between Jean-Eric Vergne and Mitch Evans. They were having a fight of their own, as the Jaguar driver had to hold off the constant attacks from the two time world champion. It was first blood to Evans as he managed to pull a consistent gap of five tenths as energy conservation began to bite. Ticktum also struggled, falling back dramatically due to his overspending of energy earlier on in the race. Two additional laps were added to the end of the race due to the safety car earlier for the Frijns shunt. However, these did not stop Wehrlein as he held onto the lead and claimed victory in the Mexico City E-Prix for the second time. Envision Racing’s Sebastian Buemi finished P2, with championship contender Nick Cassidy taking the final podium. Maximilian Guenther finished P4 with Mitch Evans just holding off Jean-Eric Vergne for P5, Jake Hughes took P7 ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne in P8, current world champion Jake Dennis had to settle for P9 whilst Norman Nato rounded out the top ten.

Formula E returns in a few weeks with a double header in Diriyah!

Formula E Driver Changes, Calendar and What to Watch For during Season 10

After several months since the conclusion of FIA Formula E Season 9, we are back with more electric racing! Well…later this week, we are. The FIA Formula E  championship returns this Friday for it’s tenth season. Round 1 will kick off in Mexico City, a staple of the electric series since it’s second season. Since we last went green, there have been quite a lot of changes, primarily in the driver market.

Drivers and Teams for Season 10:

Envision Racing:

Drivers: Sebastian Buemi and Robin Frijns

Powertrain: Jaguar I-Type 6

Season 9 Teams Championship Position:  1st Place (Champions)

There is a shake up at the current teams champion with Nick Cassidy departing for Jaguar. Robin Frijns rejoins Envision after a year of absence, eager to make the Jaguar powertrain which has been so dominant in the last few years a success of his own.

Jaguar TCS Racing:

Drivers: Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy

Powertrain: Jaguar I-Type 6

Season 9 Teams Championship Position: 2nd Place

Jaguar has arguably the most anticipated pairing going into the tenth season of Formula E.  The New Zealand duo of Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy, both in the title hunt and collecting race wins throughout the last few seasons, it will be all to play for this season.

Nick Cassidy, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6
Image Credit: Simon Galloway

Andretti Formula E:

Drivers: Jake Dennis and Norman Nato

Powertrain: Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Season 9 Teams Championship Position: 3rd Place

The current world champion will have a new livery design, helmet design, a new number and a new teammate. The Andretti duo will support a white livery as Nato joins the American team of the departing Andre Lotterer after a decent season last year where saw him scoop a podium.

Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team:

Drivers: Pascal Wehrlein and Antonio Felix Da Costa

Powertrain: Porsche 99X Electric Gen3

Season 9 Teams Championship Position: 4th Place

One of three unchanged driver pairings from last season, Wehrlein and Da Costa both racked up race wins throughout their season 9 campaign and they will be wanting to aim to equal these stats or higher in season 10 as Porsche hopes to go from strength to strength.

DS Penske:

Drivers: Stoffel Vandorrne and Jean-Eric Vergne

Powertrain: DS E-TENSE FE2

Season 9 Teams Championship Position: 5th Place

The two former World Champions remain at DS Penske for a second season as they aim to go up the standings, it was a very subdued season for them last season with double champion Vergne the only bright light with a handful of podium appearances, but this could change.

Maserati MSG Racing:

Drivers: Maximilian Guenther and Jehan Daruvala

Powertrain: Maserati Tipo Folgore

Season 9 Team Championship Position: 6th

At the Trident team, Guenther remains at the team after picking up a victory in 2023, he has proven to be a consistent driver throughout his time in the series. He is partnered by the only rookie in this season as Jehan Daruvala takes the slot. Replacing veteran Edo Mortara, Daruvala raced in Formula 2 last season.

Nissan Formula E Team:

Drivers: Sacha Fenestraz and Oliver Rowland

Powertrain: Nissan e-4ORCE 04

Season 9 Teams Championship Position:  7th

Nissan will be hoping to reignite some of the old magic, they retain 2023 rookie Sacha Fenestraz which was excellent last year, and the departing Norman Nato is replaced by familar face Oliver Rowland, who had some success with the manufacturer a few seasons ago.

NEOM McLaren Formula E Team:

Drivers: Sam Bird and Jake Hughes

Powertrain: Nissan e-4ORCE 04

Season 9 Teams Championship Position:  8th Place

The Papaya team retain Jake Hughes for 2024, who had a stellar season. Rene Rast departs, leaving Sam Bird, arguably one of the most talented and experienced drivers at the helm.

ERT Racing:

Drivers: Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara

Powertrain: ERT X24

Season 9 Teams Championship Position:  9th Place

The team formally known as NIO 333 have had a branding change to ERT. The lineup of Ticktum and Sette Camara remains unchanged and they will be eager to go up the standings and pick up some points.

Mahindra Racing:

Drivers: Nyck De Vries and Eduardo Mortara

Powertrain: Mahindra M9Electro

Season 9 Teams Championship Position:  10th Place

Mahindra, on the other hand, have completely revamped their line up. Nyck De Vrie,s the former world champion rejoins the Indian outfit after his stint at Alpha Tauri in Formula 1 and studying at Harvard. He will be joined by Eduardo Mortara, a stalwart of the series.

Nyck de Vries, Mahindra Racing, Mahindra M9Electro
Image Credit: Simon Galloway

Abt Cupra Formula E Team:

Drivers: Lucas Di Grassi and Nico Muller

Powertrain: Mahindra M9 Electro

Season 9 Teams Championship Position: 11th Place

Abt Cupra retains Nico Muller while Lucas Di Grassi joins the team after departing Mahindra. The German team will be wanting to put an end to its podium draught after ending Season 9 with zero podiums, the first in the team’s history while competing in Formula E.

Calendar for Season 10:

There are some major changes from Season 9 in terms of the Calendar, the Jakarta ePrix is scrapped, and the inaugeral India ePrix has also been cancelled, the iconic Rome ePrix has been replaced by a race in Misano.

Round Number Race Date Previous Winner
1 Mexico City ePrix 13th January 2024 Jake Dennis
2 Diryah ePrix 26th January 2024 Pascal Wehrlein
3 Diryah ePrix 27th January 2024 Pascal Wehrlein
4 Sao Paulo ePrix 16th March 2024 Mitch Evans
5 Tokyo ePrix 30th March 2024 Debut Event in Season 10
6 Misano ePrix 13th April 2024 Debut Event in Season 10
7 Misano ePrix 14th April 2024 Debut Event in Season 10
8 Monaco ePrix 27th April 2024 Nick Cassidy
9 Berlin ePrix 11th May 2024 Mitch Evans
10 Berlin ePrix 12th May 2024 Nick Cassidy
11 Shanghai ePrix 25th May 2024 Debut Event in Season 10
12 Shanghai ePrix 26th May 2024 Debut Event in Season 10
13 Portland ePrix 29th June 2024 Nick Cassidy
14 Portland ePrix* 30th June 2024 Nick Cassidy
15 London ePrix 20th July 2024 Mitch Evans
16 London ePrix 21st July 2024 Nick Cassidy

What to look out for in 2024 for Formula E:

As the number of Formula E seasons enters the double digits (they grow up so fast!) here are some highlights which will be on the radar of many people throughout the entire season:

The Battle For The Top Spot at Jaguar:

As mentioned, Jaguar TCS Racing will have a duo of Kiwi drivers this season: Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy. Although Cassidy is the new guy on the block, he shone brightly last year and came close to claming the championship title. Their inter team battle will be one to watch throughout the entire season as Evans will want to hold onto top dog status while Cassidy will want to prove himself in his new team.

Champion Comeback:

With Jake Dennis signing a multi year contract with  Andretti and the Season 7 champion Nyck De Vries returning to Formula E, there will be 7 champions on the grid who will want to reclaim the title crown of electric motorsport with Dennis certain to want to equal Vergne’s back to back title wins.

Nyck de Vries, Mahindra Racing and Jake Dennis, Andretti Global
Image Credit: Simon Galloway

New Venue Debuts:

With season 10 of Formula E, there will be 3 new venues: Tokyo, Misano and Shanghai. With only the Tokyo ePrix circuit layout being unveiled (as of right now), it will be fascinating to see how each of these new venues play into the championship.

What do you think about Formula E Season 10? Do you have any predictions ahead of the Mexico City ePrix?

Extreme E: RXR Champions In Chile

Image courtesy of Extreme E

RXR have won their second Extreme E title in three years at the Copper XPrix.

In a chaotic Final, they narrowly held off Acciona Sainz. Here’s how a thrilling day panned out:

Qualifying One:

Championship leaders RXR had the opportunity to put the pressure on rivals Acciona Sainz, as they went in the first heat in Qualifying One.

McLaren got the best getaway off the line and took an early lead. RXR dropped to the back of the field, but that didn’t worry experienced driver Johan Kristofferson.

Kristofferson swiftly overtook the JBXE machine for fourth position, before pushing the limits of the switch zone braking point to take second place.

With the women now in the cars, McLaren’s Hedda Hosas put in an excellent performance to hold off Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky to win the heat. RXR finished in second, ahead of Chip Ganassi, and X44.

The second heat in Qualifying One was a little quieter than usual, as Andretti United could not repair yesterday’s damage in time for the race.

The quieter start played nicely into Acciona Sainz’s hands as the team took a lead they would not lose.

Behind them Carl Cox Motorsport and Veloce gave the fans some brilliant wheel-to-wheel racing. Ultimately, Veloce would come out on top, taking second place behind Acciona Sainz. Carl Cox Motorsport finished in a respectable third place, with ABT Cupra bringing up the rear in fourth.

Qualifying Two:

Qualifying Two Heat One was a very sedate affair.

Veloce took the lead off of the line, ahead of Chip Ganassi, and McLaren. ABT Cupra and JBXE dropped to the back of the pack.

And that is how the teams crossed the line. Veloce took 10 classification points, guaranteeing them a spot in the final, whilst JBXE were left disappointed after another poor qualifying.

Acciona Sainz and RXR faced off in the final qualifying race of the season in Heat Two.

Acciona Sainz got away well and lead into the first corner, ahead of X44, RXR, and Carl Cox Motorsport.

There was little to separate the teams, until the switch zone, where a conservative Laia Sanz for Acciona Sainz allowed X44 to draw level. On exit the X44 machine used its Hyperdrive to get ahead.

The grid order remained unchanged after that, meaning the two title rivals, RXR and Acciona Sainz, both progressed to the final.

Overall Qualifying Classification:

  1. Acciona Sainz – 18 Points
  2. Veloce – 18 Points
  3. McLaren – 16 Points 
  4. RXR – 14 Points 
  5. X44 – 14 Points
  6. Chip Ganassi – 14 Points 
  7. Carl Cox – 10 Points 
  8. ABT Cupra – 8 Points
  9. JBXE – 4 Points
  10. Andretti United – 0 Points

Redemption Race:

The penultimate race of the season saw the bottom five qualifiers (excluding Andretti United) try to salvage some points for their teams in the championship.

Chip Ganassi had the lead into the first turn, but Carl Cox Motorsport were determined to take it off of them. After some gentle nudges Chip Ganassi remained ahead and Carl Cox Motorsport dropped a few seconds back. They retired from the race not long after.

After the switch zone, the ABT Cupra car looked to close in on JBXE to avoid picking up the wooden spoon. A dive up the inside of the JBXE machine and ABT Cupra were through into second.

Chip Ganassi won the race, ahead of ABT Cupra and JBXE rounding out the finishers. Carl Cox finish the season with a 9th placed finish in Round 10 after their early retirement from the redemption race.

Final:

The championship decider turned out to be one of the craziest races in Extreme E history, with both Acciona Sainz and RXR looking like they would comfortably take the title.

Acciona Sainz got just the start they needed, taking first place off the line, ahead of Veloce in second. RXR’s Johan Kristofferson tried to gain positions around the outside of the first turn but got onto the banking and narrowly avoided rolling the car. The landing, however, caused the team to suffer a puncture and they dropped into fifth and a lap down.

Leading the race coming into the switch zone and rivals seemingly out of contention, Acciona Sainz just needed to keep things steady for the second half of the race and the title would’ve been theirs.

However, further behind them, the McLaren driver broke too late, and collided with the back of the X44 machine. The damage the McLaren sustained was too great, and they were the first team to retire from the race.

On the switch zone exit, Veloce took the lead off of Acciona Sainz, but it would still have been enough to see the latter win the championship.

Sanz, however, was determined to regain the place, but pushed the car too hard over a bump. She span, then soon span again and rolled the car. Acciona Sainz were out of the race.

RXR now had the title but with X44 also suffering damage, they had sealed the title. Veloce won the race, but RXR completed a victory lap to regain the lap they lost due to the puncture.

Overall Round 10 Classification:

  1. Veloce – 25 Points
  2. RXR – 18 Points
  3. X44 – 15 Points 
  4. Acciona Sainz – 12 Points
  5. McLaren – 10 Points
  6. Chip Ganassi – 8 Points
  7. ABT Cupra – 6 Points
  8. JBXE – 4 Points
  9. Carl Cox Motorsport – 2 Points
  10. Andretti United – 0 Points (DNS)

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR – 182 Points
  2. Acciona Sainz – 171 Points
  3. Veloce – 155 Points
  4. X44 – 121 Points
  5. Chip Ganassi – 113 Points 
  6. ABT Cupra – 81 Points
  7. Andretti United – 71 Points
  8. McLaren – 68 Points
  9. Carl Cox Motorsport – 50 Points
  10. JBXE – 50 Points

RXR claimed their second Extreme E title, 11 points ahead of Acciona Sainz in second.

Veloce had their best ever season, finishing on the podium, whilst newcomers Carl Cox Motorsport narrowly avoided the wooden spoon.

That’s all for Extreme E for another year, but the off-road electric championship returns in just a couple of months time in Saudi Arabia. You won’t want to miss it.

Round 12 WorldSBK, Jerez, Spain, Race 2

The earlier Superpole race saw Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati), claim his 2nd win of the weekend, could the newly crowned champion make it a treble to close out the season in style?

Round 12 WorldSBK Jerez, Spain 29.10.2023 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Lights out for the last time this season and its Bautista with the hole shot into turn 1, followed by Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who immediately attacked and passed to take over the lead. Bautista 2nd,  Toprak (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 3rd, Aegerter (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 4th, and Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 5th.

Next lap of the 20 lap race and positions were as follows: 1. Rea 2. Toprak 3. Bautista 4. Aegerter 5. Locatelli 6. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) 7. Gardner (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 8. Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 9. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing) 10. Bassani (Motocorsa Racing).

With 18 laps remaining, Rea was looking quick out in the lead, and was trying to end his Kawasaki career on a high, he held a gap of 0.7s to Toprak who then posted the new fastest lap with a 1:39.871.

Next lap and both Rea, and Toprak had got away from the rest, with Bautista in 3rd barely just hanging onto the back, such was the pace being set by Rea, who went on to set the new fastest lap with a 1:39.744. Further back Remi Gardner went through on Locatelli into turn 9 to move up to 6th.

With 16 laps to go, drama for Rea who lost the front end into the tight turn 2, it was a slow enough crash, and he was able to pick the bike up and rejoin at the back of the field. A disappointing way to end his 9 year career with Kawasaki, as he had been looking so good up until that point. Positions were as follows: 1. Toprak 2. Bautista 3. Aegerter.

With 14 laps left, Toprak was making the most of his newly acquired lead and held a gap of 0.9s to Bautista behind.

Approaching half race distance and as has been the story all season long, once the fuel levels have reduced, and his tyres have been managed, Bautista starts to post faster lap times. This was the case again, and he was reeling in Toprak lap by lap, with the gap cut down to 0.3s.

Just at half race distance and Bautista lined up a move on Toprak out of the straight, and into turn 1, Toprak successfully defended. Meanwhile the battle up front had allowed both Aegerter, and Rinaldi to close in on the leading pair.

Next lap of the 20 lap race and positions were as follows: 1. Toprak 2. Bautista 3. Aegerter 4. Rinaldi 5. Gardner 6. Petrucci 7. Locatelli 8. Redding 9. Oettl (GoEleven Ducati) 10. Bassani.

Meanwhile at the front, Bautista continued his assault on the Yamaha R1, this time with a rehearsed block pass into the final corner, but could not make it stick, and Toprak retained the lead.

Next lap and this time Bautista does take the lead with a superb cut pass under Toprak.

Round 12 WorldSBK Jerez, Spain 29.10.2023 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

With 7 laps remaining, and with shades of the amazing battle between the two at Portimao, the lead was once again being swapped multiple times, this was shaping up to be another intense fight to victory between the two champions.

Next lap and Toprak ripped the lead back, before Bautista cut under Toprak into turn 5 to retake the lead. The intense battle for the lead had now allowed both Gardner, and Petrucci to join the melee, and the group at the front was now made up of 6 quality riders. Toprak back into the lead before the start of lap 5.

With only 4 laps left Toprak was still defending his lead. Meanwhile further back a mistake from Rinaldi, meant he dropped several positions down to 6th. Bautista 2nd, Aegerter 3rd, Gardner 4th, Petrucci 5th.

Onto the final 3 laps and Gardner was now losing contact with the trio ahead of him, such was the scorching pace being set. Toprak held a lead of 0.3s.

Next lap and Bautista, becoming ever more desperate, once again attacked Toprak into turn 1, the Turkish rider was able to defend to hold onto the lead.

Onto the final lap and Toprak was in the lead, followed by Bautista in 2nd, and Aegerter in 3rd. Approaching the final corner Bautista tried the block pass, infamously used by Valentino Rossi against Sete Gibernau in a MotoGP race there. Bautista slammed hard on the brakes, dived up the inside of Toprak, but Toprak knew it was coming, and squared the corner off accelerating hard out of the corner and narrowly beat Bautista to the line in a drag race. The Turkish rider’s elation however would be short lived, as race direction subsequently demoted him one position, for exceeding track limits on the final corner.

Round 12 WorldSBK Jerez, Spain 29.10.2023 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

That meant that it was indeed a treble for the newly crowned champion Alvaro Bautista, and what a season he had. Toprak 2nd, Aegerter 3rd, Gardner 4th, Petrucci 5th, Rinaldi 6th, Oettl 7th, Redding 8th, Locatelli 9th, Gerloff 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  3. Aegerter (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team)
  4. Gardner (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team)
  5. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 628
  2. Razgatlioglu – 552
  3. Rea – 370

 

Round 12 WorldSBK, Jerez, Spain, Race 1

Last round of the 2023 championship, will Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) be able to clinch his 2nd title, or could Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK) snatch a dramatic comeback?

Round 12 WorldSBK Jerez, Race 1, 28.10.2023 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK – Alvaro Bautista

The earlier Superpole saw Bautista claim top spot, followed by Domi Aegerter (GRT GYRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), and Sam Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Lights out for Race 1 and it was Bautista with the hole shot into turn 1, followed by the Kawasaki team mates of Lowes, and Rea in 2nd, and 3rd respectively, followed by the GRT GYRT Yamaha team mates of Aegerter, and Gardner in 4th, and 5th respectively. Rea then charged through on Lowes to take 3rd, while Toprak burst up to 4th, after only starting from 7th on the grid.

Next lap and Toprak was charging, he cut under Lowes into turn 1 to take 3rd. Positions on lap 2 were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rea 3. Toprak 4. Lowes 5. Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK) 6. Gardner 7. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) 8. Oettl (GoEleven Ducati) 9. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) 10. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing). Toprak then burst through on Rea to take 2nd.

With 18 laps of 20 remaining, it was Bautista who put in the new fastest lap with a 1:40.3, and held a gap of 0.4s to Toprak behind in 2nd.

Next lap and Toprak was out to upset the rhythm of Bautista, and was piling the pressure on from behind. The pressure told and Bautista made a slight mistake which allowed Toprak to close the gap down to 0.3s.

With 17 laps to go, Gardner crashed out into turn 8 after running into the back of Bassani. The Italian managed to stay upright, while the Aussie was sent cartwheeling into the gravel, with pieces of faring flying off the bike.

Next lap and Toprak responded with a new fastest time of 1:40.351, the lap times were virtually identical between Alvaro, and Toprak. Meanwhile a bad day for GRT GYRT Yamaha got worse, with Domi Aegerter plunging down the order after starting from 2nd on the grid, he was now in 21st.

With 13 laps to go, Oettl dived up the inside of Bassani to take 6th.

Next lap of the 20 lap race and Bautista held a lead of 0.1s.

Round 12 WorldSBK Jerez, Race 1, 28.10.2023 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Half race distance and Bautista had pulled away from Toprak, with the  gap between them now up to 0.9s. Positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Toprak 3. Rea 4. Lowes 5. Locatelli 6. Oettl 7. Petrucci 8. Bassani 9. Rinaldi 10. Vierge.

With 8 laps to go, Locatelli cut up the inside of Lowes to take 4th, swiftly followed by charging through on Rea into the final corner to take 3rd. Locatelli was finding great late race pace.

With 7 laps remaining the gap between Bautista, and Toprak had now increased to 2.9s.

Next lap and Bassani crashed out into turn 9, after Rinaldi seemed to clip the back of his Ducati. Bassani was not at all happy.

With only 5 laps left, both Oettl, and Petrucci had now caught a slowing Sam Lowes, who seemed to be struggling with grip. Meanwhile Rinaldi was given a long lap penalty for his contact with Bassani.

Next lap and both Oettl, and Petrucci did get through on Lowes, Lowes dropped to 7th. Meanwhile out in the lead, Bautista was showing no signs of slowing down, and had extended his lead to 3.8s. Toprak held a gap of 6.1s to Rea in 3rd.

Final 3 laps to go, and Locatelli continued his late charge getting through on Rea to take 3rd, Rea dropped to 4th.

Round 12 WorldSBK Jerez, Race 1, 28.10.2023 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK – Alvaro Bautista

Last lap and Alvaro Bautista crossed the line to take the win, and with it his 2nd world championship title; 2. Toprak 3. Locatelli 4. Rea 5. Petrucci 6. Oettl 7. Lowes 8. Rinaldi 9. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 10. Vierge (Honda HRC)

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK)
  3. Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK)
  4. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
  5. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 591
  2. Razgatlioglu – 526
  3. Rea – 363

MotoGP: Martin Wins Sprint Race in Indonesia, Giving Him The Championship Lead

For the first time this season, Pecco Bagnaia is no longer leading the championship standings. After winning today’s Sprint Race, Jorge Martin now leads the title race by 7 points! He was joined on the podium by both VR46 riders, Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi.

We have reached a crucial point in the season now – Indonesia is the first venue for the final 6 races of the season and marks the countdown to the end of the year. We have two triple-headers now, which can make or break a rider’s championship hopes.

Today’s Sprint Race was won by the rider who is currently riding high on momentum, and the points haul has given him the top spot in the championship standings. This is the first time in 2023 that Pecco Bagnaia has not topped the standings.

Jorge Martin showed his prowess today as he fought his way through from 6th on the grid to be leading the race by lap 5.

Joining him on the podium were both VR46 riders who have both had recent surgery on their collar bones, making their double podium even more impressive. Luca Marini, who started on pole, came home 2nd with Marco Bezzecchi less than a second behind him.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Maverick Vinales led the race in the early stages but eventually slipped back and ended the race in 4th. He looked to be struggling on his Aprilia machine, with the front of the bike not where he would want it to be. This saw him going wide in a number of corners and that’s what saw him ultimately miss out on a podium.

Fabio Quartararo came home in an promising 5th place, just ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio. This was the best race result of the season for the Gresini rider who is, at the moment, without a ride for the 2024 season.

The two Ducati riders were next to see the checkered flag, with Enea Bastianini in 7th, returning from his crash in Catalunya and Pecco Bagnaia in 8th, unable to make any significant moves in the race. Rounding out the points-finishing position, in 9th, was Jack Miller and his Red Bull KTM machine.

AS IT HAPPENED

As the lights went out it was Luca Marini, our pole sitter, who flew off the line and led the field off the grid. At turn 1, Maverick Vinales made an aggressive move up the inside of the leader to take over at the front.

It was a bad start for his teammate Aleix Espargaro, who quickly dropped from 3rd to 6th. This promoted Fabio Quartararo up to 3rd but it was clear he was lacking pace and that held up the rest of the field behind him. With clear air ahead of him, Vinales and Marini were able to break away from the pack.

On turn 11 of the first lap, Marc Marquez found himself in the kitty litter as the rear end let go and the bike just slid out from underneath him.

Jorge Martin quickly made his way past Quartararo and in to 3rd, with a move at turn 10 on lap 2. He quickly got his head down and began chasing down the leading pair.

A few corners later, whilst making a move up the inside of Brad Binder for 5th place, Espargaro’s bike slid out from underneath him and he took Binder down with him. The incident was under investigation for a short while, before the Stewards quickly decided there was no penalty necessary.

Image Credit: MotoGP

These two DNFs promoted Pecco Bagnaia up to 9th and in to the points. Meanwhile, Martin, his championship rival was setting fastest laps and getting ever closer to the leading two riders.

On lap 5, Martin was finally able to make a move past Marini and took over in 2nd place.

At the halfway point, Vinales continued to lead the race and was 0.8 seconds ahead of the rest. Martin was in 2nd, with Marini and Marco Bezzeccho in 3rd and 4th.

By lap 9, the gap at the front was down to 0.2s and that allowed Martin to throw his bike down the inside of Vinales to snatch the lead with a very risky and aggressive move.

Vinales seemed to be facing a few issues in the closing stages of the race and was going wide in multiple corners as the front of the bike seemed to get away from him. This left him vulnerable to the two VR46 riders.

Exactly one lap after he lost the lead to Martin, Vinales then lost 2nd place to Marini. The move was an exact mirror image on Martin’s move, with Marini throwing it up the inside at turn 10.

Across the line to start lap 11 and Bezzcchi was now dicing with Vinales as the Aprilia rider continued to slip backwards. However, it wasn’t until turn 10 of the final lap when he was able to get past and take the final podium position spot.

FULL RESULTS
1st Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
2nd Luca Marini Mooney VR46
3rd Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
4th Maverick Vinales Aprilia
5th Fabio Quartararo Yamaha
6th Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini
7th Enea Bastianini Ducati
8th Pecco Bagnaia Ducati
9th Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
10th Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
11th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
12th Johann Zarco Prima Pramac
13th Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
14th Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF
15th Franco Morbidelli Yamaha
16th Joan Mir Repsol Honda
17th Pol Espargaro GASGAS Tech3
18th Alex Rins LCR Honda
19th Brad Binder Red Bull KTM

DNF = Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda).

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Scheider shines at the Cape Town RX

World Rallycross made a welcome return/ to South Africa and stepped outside of Europe for the first time since Covid-19 lockdowns.

Image Credit; Red Bull Content Pool

RX faced lengthy down-time after the devastating fire at Lydden Hill earlier this year, claimed the Lancias driven by Sébastien Loeb and Special One Racing team owner, Guerlain Chicherit. As a result the teams are still not racing with the top tier RX1e cars, with the Killarney International Raceway seeing the Rx2e cars take on the challenge of a double-header weekend.

The buzz in the paddock coming into the weekend centered around “equal machinery” with all teams running the same equal machinery. This however did not unsettle Kristoffersson who sat down with us ahead of the race.

He said that “one thing you will learn in motorsport is to be prepared for the unexpected things to happen” He said that he was motivated to finish off the season in the best possible way.

Niclas Grönholm went into the weekend, 27 points behind Kristoffersson. Grönholm won the race in 2019, when the championship last visited Cape Town, however it was bittersweet, given that he had dominated that season and was on track to be champion, had it not been for appendicitis which ruled him out of a few races.

Grönholm told us that it “still feels bad” and “that season I felt most prepared… that year every possibility was there” (to win the title). He was happy returning to racing and challenging the World Champion. The weekend did not go as well as the Finn would have liked after some close contract saw damage to his CE Dealer car on both Day 1 and 2.

The story of this weekend, however, was Timo Scheider.


He is a fan of the city of Cape Town, having visited a few times. Speaking to us on Friday, he said that the equal machinery presented an opportunity for all teams, however was cautious about his chances given that he is the only driver in the field that had not driven these Rx2e cars.

Scheider said that it would take time to understand the car and set up and said that it was a “tough weekend” ahead being a double-header; “Of course in rallycross anything can happen… we used to call it the MMA of car racing”, but the rewards are great. His word proved prophetic.

Day 1

Kristoffersson did not have it all his way though, losing out on Superpole for the first time ever, on Day 1. Kevin Hansen drove to stunning Superpole, relegating his fellow Swede to 2nd.

The World Champion, however, swiftly recovered to win his 39th championship round in the final, timing his first lap pass to perfection, pushing Kevin down to second place. For the younger Hansen, it was sufficient to move him into second in the championship.

Scheider, racing in these cars for the first time, put his extensive driving knowledge on display with a brilliant third place for his Münnich Racing team in a city that is close to his heart.


Grönholm’s teammate, Klara Andersson had a tough day at the office, suffering a puncture in her semi-final which ultimately cost her a place in the final and relegated her to 7th overall. Speaking to us on Friday, Andersson was looking forward to Cape Town. Regarded as a pioneer, being the first woman to podium in Rallycross, she said that the car responds logically and she feels comfortable going into the weekend.

Image Credit: (World Rallycross South Africa / Chris Hitchcock)

Day 2

The second day of action proceeded in calmer conditions as the sun baked the circuit. Scheider continued his form with two heat wins.

Scheider took his form into the semi-final pushing the championship leader into second. Andersson recovered from her Saturday problems and found some form on Sunday and a spot into the final.

Ole Christian Veiby, Kristoffersson’s teammate, had a Sunday to forget, with accident damage costing him a spotting the final and his run of bad luck this season, continued.

Veiby along with Rene Münnich both didn’t reach the final,leaving both CE Dealer drivers, both Hansen’s, Scheider and Kristoffersson to fight it out.

In the end Scheider did what no one else has been able to do in a long time – beat Johan Kristoffersson in a final.

A stunning launch from pole saw him relegate the Swede to third, with a little help from Kevin Hansen who fought hard with Kristoffersson. The German driver took his 1st victory in Rallycross in absolute style, an impressive feat, especially given that it was his first time in these cars.

His smile after the race had enough mega-watts to solve the power challenges faced in South Africa and the popular driver delivered what could be the quote of the season so far: “With equal machinery, things are changing”.

Image Credit: Cape Town Rallycross/ Chris Hitchcock

Round 11 WorldSBK Portimao, Portugal, Race 2

The earlier Superpole race saw Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) claim his 2nd win of the weekend, followed by Pata Yamaha Prometeon team mates of Toprak Razgatlioglu, and Andrea Locatelli in 2nd, and 3rd respectively.

Would Bautista be able to make it 3 wins from 3?

WorldSBK Portimao 01.10.2023 Picture courtesy of Kawasaki Racing Team

Lights out for race 2, and Toprak aggressive as always from the off took the hole shot into turn 1, followed by Bautista, and Gardner (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) who cut up the inside of Locatelli to take 3rd. Meanwhile further back, drama for Xavi Vierge (Honda HRC), who went off line, taking both Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), and Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) off track along with him. All three riders however were able to rejoin.

Next lap of the 20 lap race, and Bautista attacked Toprak into turn 1, however he eased off the throttle and didn’t make the move stick. Positions were as follows: 1. Toprak 2. Bautista 3. Gardner 4. Locatelli 5. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) 6. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 7. Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 8. Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) 9. Vd Mark (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 10. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing).

With 18 laps left, Rinaldi was looking quick and stuffed his Ducati up the inside of an unsuspecting Gardner to take 3rd. Locatelli 4th, and Gardner dropped down to 5th.

As was the case in the earlier Superpole race, both Bautista, and Toprak had pulled away from the rest of the field, the others unable to match the blistering pace being set at the front. Rinaldi in 3rd was 1.6s behind his team mate.

With 16 laps remaining, Bautista was rehearsing his overtake on Toprak, getting ahead down the straight, before easing off into turn 1. Meanwhile further back it was 7. Gardner 8. Bassani 9. Petrucci 10. Aegerter (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team).

Next lap and Bautista made the move he rehearsed the previous few laps count. He eased into the lead down the straight and took the position into turn 1. Toprak however was having none of it, and stuffed his R1 under the Ducati into turn 5, rear sliding out as he retook the lead.

Meanwhile Garrett Gerloff put in the new fastest lap with a 1:40.829. Further back Rea was up to 14th, but was subsequently given a long lap penalty for dangerous riding. Rinaldi then put in the new fastest lap with a 1:40.738.

With 13 laps to go, it was the turn of Bautista to put in the new fastest lap with a 1:40.4, and extended his lead to 0.3s in the process. Meanwhile Rinaldi had a gap of 1.7s to Toprak.

Approaching the half way point of the race, and Toprak struck, slamming his R1 up the inside of Bautista’s Ducati into turn 13 with a perfect block pass. However, Bautista responded by blasting past the R1 down the straiight. As has been the story all season, the Yamaha had no answer to the outright speed of the Ducati. Toprak, late on the brakes into turn 1, somehow retook the lead. A real battle was unfolding.

Rinaldi in 3rd was struggling to match the pace at the front, and was losing contact, with the gap extended to 1.9s.

Just at the half way point of the race, and drama for the Aussie, Gardner who had a mechanical, and was forced to retire. Positions at the half way stage were as follows; 1. Bautista 2. Toprak 3. Rinaldi 4. Locatelli 5. Gerloff 6. Lecuona 7. Petrucci 8. Aegerter 9. Oettl 10. Bassani.

With 9 laps remaining, Toprak was back in front, the lead now swapping virtually every lap. The gap between them was only 0.2s, this would no doubt go down to the wire.

With 7 laps to go, Bautista again blasted past Toprak down the straight and back into the lead. Meanwhile further back, Rea was up to 13th, and Redding 14th. At the front Toprak cut under Bautista into turn 13, before Bautista retook the lead into turn 1 the next lap, however he ran wide and Toprak retook the lead. This was breathtaking racing!

With only 5 laps left, Gerloff was having another superb race, and was all over the back of Locatelli and looking for the pass. With the constant swapping of positions ahead of him, Rinaldi had managed to claw back ground, and was closing in. Toprak held a lead of 0.2s in front.

Next lap, and Bautista again retook the lead down the straight and into turn 1. Then into turn 13, a favourite for Toprak, he jammed it up the the inside of Bautista with a neat pass to retake the lead.

With 3 laps remaining, Bautista was back in front, powering down the straight and into the lead into turn 1. Toprak was in no mood to settle for 2nd and, stuffed it up the inside of Bautista into turn 5. The move caught the Spaniard out, and his bike jerked violently as he sat it upright briefly. This race was still anyone’s to call. Meanwhile further back Rea was up to 11th.

Down to the penultimate lap, and Bautista again took the lead down the long straight, however as he had done before, he went wide, and Toprak went through the gap he left. This was edge of your seat racing, incredible stuff from two champions giving it absolutely everything.

Last lap, and as they had been for the past 20 laps, they were both still locked together in a bitter dog fight. Bautista took the lead again down the straight, before Toprak dived up the inside, nearly losing the front end in the process. Approaching the last few sets of corners, and Toprak was ahead, ringing the neck out of his R1, then onto the long right hander, Toprak still ahead, Bautista got the drive out of the last corner and powered past Toprak and across the line to take the win. Sensational racing, Toprak however was furious, and smashed his screen repeatedly. He had given everything, and yet it wasn’t enough to beat the flawless pairing of Bautista, and the Ducati.

WorldSBK Portimao 01.10.2023 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Rinaldi 3rd, Gerloff 4th, Locatelli 5th, Petrucci 6th, Lecuona 7th, Aegerter 8th, Oettl (GoEleven Racing) 9th, Rea 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team)
  3. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  4. Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW)
  5. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 566
  2. Razgatlioglu -506
  3. Rea – 350

The championship will go down to the final round in Jerez, Spain.

Round 11 WorldSBK Portimao, Portugal, Race 1

It’s the penultimate round of the 2023 championship, and there are only two riders capable of lifting the trophy. Reigning champion, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati), and 2021 champion, Toprak Razgatloglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK).

Round 11 WorldSBK Portimao, Portugal, Race 1 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

The earlier Superpole saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) take top spot with an unmatched lap of 1:39.620, followed by team mate Alex Lowes, and Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) in 2nd, and 3rd respectively. Toprak 4th, Bautista 5th. Locatelli was subsequently penalised for not heeding a flag, and demoted to the back of the grid for race 1.

Conditions for race 1 were near enough perfect, with air temperature of 29 degrees Celsius, and track temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, with clear skies under bright Algarve sun.

Lights out for race 1 and it was Toprak with the hole shot into turn 1, Rea made contact with Bautista and dropped down to 4th, Bautista moved into 3rd, behind Lowes in 2nd, Vd Mark (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was up to 4th.

Next lap and Lowes was looking quick, and moved through on Toprak to take the lead. Positions were as follows: 1. Lowes 2. Toprak 3. Bautista 4. Vd Mark 5. Rea 6. Gardner (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 7. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 8. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) 9. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing) 10. Bassani (Motocorsa Racing)

With 18 laps of 20 left, Rea put in the new fastest lap a 1:40.743, and moved through on Vd Mark into 4th, before cutting under Bautista to move into 3rd. The leading 5 riders had now pulled away from the rest of the field.

Next lap and Lowes got mugged going into turn 1, as first Toprak dive bombed him to take the lead, followed swiftly by Bautista, Rea, and VD Mark. Lowes dropped down to 5th. Bautista then got through on Rea into turn 5 to take 2nd. Meanwhile further back, after having briefly lost contact with the group ahead, Remi Gardner was in 6th, and closing in.

With 15 laps remaining, Bautista got into Toprak’s slip stream and briefly took the lead, before Toprak was able to fight back and maintain the position. Meanwhile further back it was, 7. Rinaldi 8. Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 9. Lecuona 10. Bassani.

Next lap and Bautista attacked once more into turn 1, before Toprak was yet again able to snap back and retain position.

With 13 laps to go, Bautista lined up the move into turn 1 again, and this time the move stuck, and Toprak was unable to respond. Bautista now in the lead. Meanwhile further back, drama for Rinaldi who was forced to retire due to a mechanical issue. At the front Bautista put in a new fastest lap a 1:40.489, and was pulling away.

Just at the halfway point of the race, and Bautista held a lead of 0.8s. Vd Mark had now caught Lowes in 4th, the Dutchman was all over the back of him and was looking for the pass. Meanwhile further back, Gerloff was up to 6th.

Next lap and Vd Mark made a pass on Lowes into turn 1 and moved into 4th, Lowes down to 5th. Meanwhile, after having started at the back of the grid, Locatelli was up to 11th.

Next lap and Locatelli was now up to 10th, having got past Xavi Vierge (Honda HRC). Meanwhile at the front, Bautista could not shake off a stubborn Toprak, and his lead was only 0.5s. In 3rd place Rea had lost contact with the two ahead of him.

With 6 laps left, Locatelli was having a strong race and moved through on Bassani to take 9th. Further back there was a 3 way fight for 13th between, Petrucci 13th, Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 14th, and Domi Aegerter (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team).

With 4 laps remaining, Gerloff had caught Lowes and made a pass on him into turn 1 to move into 5th. Meanwhile at the front Bautista had increased his lead to 1.0s. Toprak held a gap of 3.3s to Rea in 3rd, and Rea held a gap of 4.5s to Vd Mark in 4th.

Next lap and Gerloff had now caught Vd Mark, and attacked the Dutchman to move into 4th. The Texan was having a great race. Next up for Vd Mark was Lowes, and Gardner who both attacked him and subsequently moved up positions. Vd Mark dropped down to 7th.

Round 11 WorldSBK Portimao, Portugal, Race 1 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Penultimate lap and Bautista had extended his lead to 2.0s, and now looked comfortable for the race win.

Last lap and Bautista crossed the line to take the win, as well as the constructors championship for Ducati. Toprak 2nd, Rea 3rd, Gerloff 4th, Lowes 5th, Gardner 6th, Vd Mark 7th, Lecuona 8th, Locatelli 9th, Vierge 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  3. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
  4. Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW)
  5. Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 529
  2. Razgatlioglu – 477
  3. Rea – 344

 

©2017 The Pitcrewonline