Five winners and losers from round three of the WorldSBK championship at Estoril

Five winners and losers from round three of the 2022 WorldSBK championship as Toprak Razgatlioglu throws away at least two wins in Estoril.
Scott Redding, BMW WorldSBK Estoril
Scott Redding, BMW WorldSBK Estoril


Alvaro Bautista

After a sensational race one win, Bautista continued his 100% podium streak so far in 2022 by claiming third in the Superpole race and second in race two. The Ducati rider could and perhaps should have won race two, however, a determined Jonathan Rea was able to dethrone Bautista with just four corners to go. 

Top speed was once again the Spaniard’s best friend as he used the Panigale V4 R’s extra horsepower to keep Rea at bay, but with time running out, Bautista was pushed wide by a brilliant move from Rea at turn ten. 

Jonathan Rea 

Following a disappointing race one in which Rea failed to keep pace with the likes of Razgatlioglu and Bautista, the six-time world champion responded in brilliant fashion to win both Sunday races. 

Rea was somewhat fortunate to win the Superpole race as a dominant Razgatlioglu had a near one second lead before throwing it all away on the final lap [turn ten]. Nonetheless, the Kawasaki rider once again underlined the improvements both he and more importantly KRT have made to its ZX10-RR package so far this season.  

Iker Lecuona 

Iker Lecuona, Estoril WorldSBK, 20 May
Iker Lecuona, Estoril WorldSBK, 20 May

Taking part in his first-ever race weekend at Estoril - first-ever visit to Estoril in any capacity for that matter - Lecuona showed once again why he’s ready to lead Honda going forward. The former MotoGP rider was regularly fighting for the top five in race one, and although he was beaten to fifth by team-mate Xavi Vierge, the Spaniard claimed fourth in the Superpole race after nearly getting the better of Bautista. 

Race two was just as impressive from Lecuona as the young Spaniard claimed sixth for the second time this weekend - finished ten seconds ahead of the next best Honda (team-mate Vierge).

Andrea Locatelli

Although Locatelli’s struggles in matching the likes of team-mate Razgatlioglu, Rea and Bautista continued in Estoril, the Italian was once again the next best rider. Fourth in race one, Locatelli claimed another top five after narrowly missing out to Lecuona who was using a favourable intermediate rear.  

After joining the podium battle early on, Locatelli was part of a three-rider group that eventually slipped back. The Italian finished fifth which marks his eight consecutive top five this season (eighth in nine races).

Xavi Fores 

Replacing an injured Philipp Oettl, Xavi Fores claimed 11th place less than 24 hours after being drafted in by Goeleven Ducati. Showing he still has what it takes to compete in WorldSBK, Fores went even better during a drying Superpole race as he clinched ninth following a battle with Axel Bassani and Michael Rinaldi. 

Another great ride from the former full-time Superbike rider, Fores managed tenth in race two which was better than the likes of Redding and Loriz Baz. 


Toprak Razgatlioglu 

Looking like the rider to beat on Friday, Razgatlioglu secured a front row start thanks to qualifying second at the Portuguese circuit. 

After leading most of race one and seemingly being in control, the Pata Yamaha rider made a costly mistake coming out of the final corner which allowed the much faster [top speed] Ducati of Alvaro Bautista to out-drag him to the line. 

Eager to make up for his failure to win a first race since becoming world champion, Razgatlioglu dominated the Superpole race and had a near one second lead heading into the final few corners. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea, Estoril WorldSBK, 22 May
Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea, Estoril WorldSBK, 22 May

But after momentarily losing the front-end - produced an unbelievable ‘save’, the type of ‘save’ that would match MotoGP star Marc Marquez - Razgatlioglu lost a comfortable victory as Rea swooped by at turn 10. 

The reigning world champion attempted to fight back, but was ultimately unable to do so. In race two, Razgatlioglu appeared to have the pace to challenge, however, that all changed with a few laps to go as the Turkish rider suddenly dropped back from Rea and Bautista. 

At a venue where he should and would have expected to win, Estoril proved to be a hugely frustrating weekend for Razgatlioglu.

Scott Redding

While Redding secured his best qualifying of the year and generally showed improved pace compared to Aragon and Assen, the BMW rider was unable to keep hold of his fourth place in both race one and the Superpole race, instead dropping down the field as tyre degradation became a significant issue. 

Redding’s seventh place finish during the Superpole race meant a P7 start for race two, but yet again the former BSB champion failed to hold his pace and slid back to 11th. 

Michael Rinaldi 

Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Estoril WSBK race1, 21 May
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Estoril WSBK race1, 21 May

Like Lowes, Michael Rinaldi’s future at Ducati is very much in the balance after another terrible round. The Italian failed to finish any higher than eighth in either race, while Rinaldi was also 16 seconds or more behind Bautista in all three races. 

Alex Lowes

Not for the first time this season, Lowes was consistently slower than Rea in all three races. The ex-Yamaha rider showed much better form in race two as he claimed fourth, however, it’s a small consolation for what’s been a poor start to 2022. Lowes did out-perform Rea in qualifying at Assen before two technical problems hampered his race results at said round two. But with this being a round-by-round assessment, Lowes falls into the losers category this weekend. 

Garrett Gerloff 

Over before he had the chance to show what he was capable of, Garrett Gerloff’s big highside at turn 13 in FP3 meant the American had to watch qualifying and all three races from the sidelines. 

After topping FP1 and then finishing third on combined times during Friday’s running, Gerloff looked like a podium contender heading into Saturday, the type of result he desperately needed in order to kickstart a disappointing 2022 season thus far. 

Instead, the GRT Yamaha rider joined Philipp Oettl and Michael Van Der Mark in having to miss the Portuguese round as they too suffered injuries due to heavy crashes.

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