Alvaro Bautista led Ducati’s first 1-2 finish of the season, while it was a race to forget for World Superbike rookies Remy Gardner and Dominqiue Aegerter after the pair collided at turn 4. 

After winning Race 1 in wet conditions, Bautista continued his stunning form by taking victory in the first Superpole Race of the 2023 season.

Bautista had very little pressure to contend with as Toprak Razgatlioglu made an early move for the lead on lap one, before the world champion responded on lap two.

From there, Bautista remained in the lead until the checkered flag while teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi recovered from his horror show in Race 1 to claim second by six tenths from Razgatlioglu.

Talking of horror shows, that’s exactly what happened for six-time champion Jonathan Rea, with the Kawasaki rider only finishing seventh. 

Rea was beaten to P6 by Phillip Oettl who continues to impress aboard the GoEleven Ducati.

2023 World Superbike Phillip Island, Australia - Superpole Race Results
1Alvaro BautistaSPAAruba.It Racing Ducati10 Laps
2Michael RinaldiITAAruba.It Racing Ducati+2.462s
3Toprak RazgatliogluTURPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+3.060s
4Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+3.833s
5Andrea LocatelliITAPATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK+3.893s
6Philipp OettlGERGoEleven Ducati+4.215s
7Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+4.952s
8Iker LecuonaSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+7.140s
9Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa Ducati+11.295s
10Michael Van Der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+11.843s
11Danilo PetrucciITABarni Spark Ducati Team+13.480s
12Xavi ViergeSPATeam HRC WorldSBK+13.888s
13Loris BazFRABonovo Action BMW+14.413s
14Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team+16.795s
15Garrett GerloffUSABonovo Action BMW+17.891s
16Lorenzo BaldassarriITAGMT94 Yamaha+26.122s
17Oliver KonigCZEOrelac Racing Kawasaki+32.457s
18Eric GranadoBRAMIE Honda Racing+32.739s
19Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE Honda Racing+32.949s
20Tom SykesGBRPuccetti Kawasaki+3 Laps
21Remy GardnerAUSGRT YamahaDNF
22Dominique AegerterSWIGRT Yamaha WorldSBK TeamDNF

The most dramatic moment of the race came with 5 laps to go as rookie teammates Gardner and Aegerter crashed at turn four.

Gardner attempted an ambitious move which involved diving down the inside, the problem however, was that Aegerter had already made the apex and was clearly ahead.

Gardner was given a Long Lap penalty for his mistake, while a small consolation for Aegerter is that he ended the race with the fastest lap.