Back to Misano after the few weeks break for the riders, and it will be the first of two rounds in Italy this season, with a trip to Imola for round 7. Breaking news earlier in the week saw a major shake up in the grid with news Toprak Razgatlioglu would be leaving Yamaha at the end of the season, with a shock switch to BMW.
The earlier Superpole saw Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) claim pole with a time of 1:33.017, sporting the new one off yellow livery for Ducati. Followed by Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK), and Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Conditions for race 1 were near enough perfect as the riders lined up on the grid.
Lights out then for the first race of the weekend, and it was Bautista with the hole shot into turn 1, followed by his team mate Rinaldi in 2nd, Toprak in 3rd, Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) 4th, Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 5th, Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) 6th, and Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 7th.
Next lap of 20 laps, and Bassani cut under Rea in a high speed corner to take 5th, the Italian was looking aggressive early on. It was another Italian who set the new fastest lap, Rinaldi with a 1:34.136 in 2nd. It was a Ducati 1, 2 at the front, and Bautista extended his lead to 0.8s. Meanwhile further back Scott Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) was in 11th, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK) 12th, and Xavi Vierge (Honda HRC) 13th.
With 16 laps to go, Bautista had now increased his gap over Rinaldi to 0.9s. Meanwhile Bassani, continued his aggressive start and was all over the back of Petrucci and looking for the pass. The Brit Brad Ray (MotoxRacing Yamaha) was down in 18th after stalling on the grid.
Next lap and Bautista had now extended his lead to 1.4s, and was slowly pulling away from Rinaldi. The Italian unable to match his pace, so too Toprak in 3rd was losing contact with both riders ahead of him. Meanwhile Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) made a charge moving initially past Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), and then through on Lecuona (Honda HRC) to take 8th. Moving up two places in a few corners. Meanwhile the gap to Aegerter in 7th was at 4.4s.
With 13 laps remaining, Rinaldi held a gap of 1.9s to Toprak in 3rd. Bassani in 5th held a gap of 1.1s to Rea in 6th. Meanwhile Domi Aegerter was all over the back of Rea and looking for the pass. Rea was not having a happy time on his Kawasaki, and wasn’t getting the drive, or stability he was hoping for.
Nearing half race distance, and Petrucci, was having one of his best races of the season so far and was closing in on Toprak, reducing the gap to 0.5s.
Just over half race distance, and Toprak responded to the Petrucci charge by increasing the gap to 0.9s. Meanwhile out in the lead, Bautista looked ice cool as he had much of the season, and held a gap of 3.1s. Rinaldi held a gap of 2.9s. Rinaldi was in 2nd, Toprak 3rd, Petrucci 4th, Bassani 5th, Rea 6th, Aegerter 7th.
With 7 laps to go both the factory BMW’s were struggling in 12th and 17th. Meanwhile Rea had his hands full defending his position from Aegerter in 6th. Brad Ray hadn’t made any headway and was still in 18th.
Next lap, and drama for Petrucci who crashed out of 4th place, he had been looking good all race until that point.
With only 4 laps remaining positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rinaldi 3. Toprak 4. Bassani 5. Rea 6. Aegerter 7. Lowes 8. Lecuona 9. Gardner 10. Vierge. Redding, the best placed BMW rider, was all over the back of Vierge and looking for the pass.
Penultimate lap, and it was Bautista’s to lose.
Last lap and it was a Ducati 1, 2 in the yellow livery for the team’s home race, and Bautista’s 12th win of the season. Rinaldi 2nd, Toprak 3rd, Bassani 4th, Rea 5th, Aegerter 6th, Lowes 7th, Lecuona 8th, Gardner 9th, Vierge 10th.
Result top 5:
- Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
- Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
- Razgatlioglu (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK)
- Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati)
- Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Championship top 3:
- Bautista – 261 pts
- Razgatlioglu – 183
- Locatelli – 137