Alvaro Bautista clinches 2023 World Superbike title at Jerez

Bautista notched up his twenty fifth win in 34 races in Saturday afternoon’s 20-lap contest, beating his nearest title rival Toprak Razgatlioglu by a margin of 1.195 seconds.

With solely Sunday’s two Jerez races to go, it means Bautista has an insurmountable 65-point lead with solely 37 left on supply.

The 38-year-old Spaniard turns into Ducati’s first repeat champion in WSBK since Troy Bayliss in 2006, and the primary of the Italian marque’s riders to efficiently defend a title since Carl Fogarty in 1999.

Bautista went into the race needing solely to attain two factors – equal to a 14th-place end – to win the championship, whereas nothing lower than victory would have been sufficient for Yamaha man Razgatlioglu.

Whereas Bautista established himself within the lead from pole, Razgatlioglu made speedy progress from seventh on the grid to run second, and spent a number of laps circulating proper on the tail of his rival.

However the Spaniard had the tempo to tug away, and at one stage led as a lot as 4 seconds as he continued his file of successful at the very least one race in all 12 race weekends of the 2023 season.

Andrea Locatelli accomplished the rostrum in third on the second works Yamaha, whereas Jonathan Rea opened his last weekend as a Kawasaki with a stable run to fourth place.

Bautista established himself because the favorite to defend his 2022 crown early within the yr with a treble win within the opening spherical at Phillip Island, repeating the feat at Assen, Barcelona and Misano.

It wasn’t till the Imola spherical in mid-July that Bautista was defeated in a full-length race, with a crash for Bautista within the last race on the Italian monitor serving to to ignite a quick comeback by Razgatlioglu.

However Razgatlioglu’s probabilities of a second title took a significant blow with a punctured tyre at Most, and by the point of the penultimate spherical at Portimao his faint hopes of difficult Bautista had all however been extinguished.

Sunday’s two races will mark Razgatlioglu’s final outings for Yamaha earlier than he makes the change to BMW, with Rea set to make his Kawasaki farewell as he takes over Razgatlioglu’s seat in 2024.

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