Alvaro Bautista on fight with Toprak Razgatlioglu: ‘Today the limit was too close’

Alvaro Bautista admits Toprak Razgatlioglu’s last corner overtake in the Superpole Race was ‘too close to the limit’.

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Andrea Iannone, Alvaro Bautista, Nicolo Bulega, Catalunya WorldSBK, Superpole Race, 24 March
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Andrea Iannone, Alvaro Bautista, Nicolo Bulega,…

Following the Superpole Race, two-time WorldSBK champion Alvaro Bautista made the most of his improved grid position for Race 2 as he took over the lead after a couple of laps.

Bautista was then overtaken by Nicolo Bulega who immediately set a hot pace as he dropped the reigning world champion by six tenths.

But the gap stabilised at around half a second before Bautista grew stronger and stronger.

Bautista went back into top spot with 11 laps to go and despite Bulega remaining close for much of the race, the Spanish rider eventually broke Bulega’s challenge as he came across the line for his first win in 2024.

“I’m really happy to be again in first position on the podium,” said Bautista post-race. “It has been amazing because even with the tough weekend we had, and with the penalty we had yesterday, we recovered a lot of positions and in the Superpole Race we were able to be competitive and fight for the victory until the last lap.

“In Race 2 I enjoyed it because it was not easy. I tried to make a good start and not have many riders in front of me like yesterday.

“I wanted to do my lines and not use too much tyres. On the grid we decided to change the rear tyre solution because today with less temperature I thought the SCX was better than the 900. 

“We did it and I’m happy for that. It was perfect. In the beginning I tried to not force the tyre but maybe it was a bit too slow. But I was leading and nobody wanted to go faster. 

“After a few laps Nicolo passed me and I agreed, I was too slow. I think I could increase by three or four tenths but no more otherwise the tyres in the last laps were going to drop a lot.

“I saw that he did two very fast laps so I kept calm and tried to not do more. After a few laps I started to catch him and thought it was better to be at the front.

“I’m really happy because yesterday and today we did three different races.we were competitive in all three.”

Now onto his battle in the earlier Superpole Race, Bautista looked set for victory before a Valentino Rossi-like overtake took place at the final corner.

Like Rossi did on Jorge Lorenzo in 2009, Razgatlioglu dove to the inside of Bautista as the Ducati rider committed to the corner.

It resulted in Bautista running wide which allowed Iannone to also come through.

Discussing the battle, Bautista said: “From the outside it is different from the inside. I knew that Toprak was going to try in the last lap and the last corner.

“I tried to close a bit the line because he was going to go for it no matter what my line was. The important thing was to not crash.

“I tried to close a bit to not leave the door open but he entered. I tried to keep my line and close my line but he just went straight and I had to pick up the bike.

“For sure, he can turn a bit better but I went to the dirty are and I lost the position to Iannone.

“Was a very aggressive move but if I tried to close more we would have had contact. I can be aggressive but until one limit. I felt that today the limit was too close.”

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