Andrea Locatelli (Yamaha R1) in front of the pits of the Circuit de Cataluña near Barcelona – thanks to the crash of record world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki ZX-10RR), caused by his teammate, the Italian inherited third place in the sprint race from Sunday morning and thus took his second podium of the season.

Hardly any excitement on Day 2 of WorldSBK in Catalonia either

After Alvaro Bautista’s solo performance, the Tissot sprint race continued on Sunday morning. Just like on Saturday, only what happened behind the Spaniard, who was alone in the lead right after the start, caused excitement. Although Toprak Razgatlioglu was racing for his life behind him on his Yamaha, the Turk never had the slightest chance of seriously endangering the Ducati rider. Due to his motorcycle, which many observers considered to be in a different category, he always managed to get a lead of several tenths over his pursuers on the straights alone. Actually the best proof of how ineffective the reduction of the maximum speed of Alvaros Ducati by a ridiculous 250 rpm, imposed far too late by the FIM, is. See also the article “An Alibi Exercise” on our website. Without taking too many risks, the little man from Talavera de la Reina won easily, further extending his lead in the World Championship.

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki ZX-10RR, with the No. 22) behind Iker Lecuona (Honda CBR1000 RR-R) – after his crash at Turn 7 on Saturday, Johnny Rea’s teammate showed a strong race. The Englishman narrowly missed out on the podium in the sprint race on Sunday morning .

Facts about the sprint race – Rea with a fall that was partly to blame for Toprak

Watching the scenes from the last lap of the Tissot Sprint race brought back memories of what happened at the second round in Assen last year. At that time, Toprak caused a collision with the record world champion, which he was responsible for, causing him and himself to fall. Exactly like in 2022, the Turk drove the Northern Irishman into the ideal line this time, with which Rea had to brake on curve 1 on the white line moistened by the first raindrops, causing the front wheel to slip away. Before that, the Kawasaki rider was second behind Bautista, having been temporarily pushed back to P4 by Rinaldi and Razgatlioglu. Rea’s team-mate Alex Lowes almost took the vacated third place, but in turn 10 the Englishman was overtaken by Locatelli and Lecuona and thus relegated to fifth place. Alvaro’s initially P2 Ducati teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi fared even worse. In the last few laps, the Italian was passed down to 8th place in light rain on the western part of the track. Below is the ranking of the dramatic sprint race.

The second run of the WSBK on Sunday

As usual, the world championship leader, who had clear advantages in terms of acceleration and top speed, had an easy time again. Bautista pulled away early again and this time Michael Ruben Rinaldi underscored the fact that the factory Ducatis are in a league of their own. Shortly before the middle of the race, the third-placed Toprak Razgatlioglu on the Yamaha was more than 5 seconds behind the leader on his Ducati Panigale V4R. They were followed by Alex Lowes (Kawasaki), Andrea Locatelli (Yamaha), Johnny Rea on the second works Kawasaki and behind them the two Honda works riders Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona. Tom Sykes’ tragedy ended in the gravel trap with the Puccetti Kawasaki instead of far behind outside of the points. Frankly, what happened at the front had nothing to do with exciting racing. Nine laps before the end, Toprak was already more than seven and a half seconds behind Alvaro, which means that within two laps Alvaro had lost more than one second per lap to the next competitor on a third-party vehicle.

Despite good performances, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki ZX-10RR) was in a lost position in Barcelona, as previously feared. Third place on Saturday was followed by disaster with a crash in the sprint race and only fifth place due to the suboptimal starting position in race 2. But even his arch-rival Razgatlioglu is too far away from the fight for the title. Unfortunately, the monotony is currently taking away any spice from the near-series world championship. At most, in the round after next in Imola, Bautista could have to fight for victory, while Misano should again be firmly in Ducati’s hands.

The tops and flops of the boring last race
Not for the first time, alongside former BMW works rider Tom Sykes, his successor Scott Redding was one of the early victims of problems with his M-1000RR. After P12 in the sprint race, a failure in the pits was the crowning glory of an unsuccessful weekend for the 2020 World Championship runner-up (then still on Ducati). The Englishman is now behind Bonovo Action privateer Garrett Gerloff, who is currently the best man on the BMW after P10 in the second race in fourteenth place. Toprak managed to intercept Rinaldi just before the finish, but his second place left a bad taste in the mouth. On the one hand, he was not penalized for his unfair maneuver when overtaking Rea, who he pushed onto the sidelines in front of turn 1 (who was unable to avoid the fall). On the other hand, one can speculate whether Ducati would prefer not to occupy both front positions in order not to lose further maximum speed. Below is the result of run two.

In the intermediate classification, the reigning world champion extended his lead with a new 236 points. After only a third of the season, Razgatlioglu (167 points) is already 69 points behind the almost unassailable leader Bautista. Locatelli (133) and Rea (100) follow on the other positions. Excitement is not to be expected in the WSBK again this season, at least for the title fight.

WorldSSP 600 with second Turkish win of the season

This time it was not the lack of Can Öncü, who was injured with arm break from Assen round, but his compatriot Baatin Sofuoglu, who wrote history for Turkish racing. After the WSBK races usually run without any tension in the fight for victory, as in the previous year, the fight at the top in the middle category was a blessing for true fans of racing. For once it was not Nicolo Bulega on the Ducati, which this time shaped what was happening. On the contrary, the World Championship leader from Italy lost the connection to the top group early on, in order to be rolled out in the second last round when trying to fight for the podium on P4 due to a technical problem. The fight for victory between the two MV Agusta Pilots Sofuoglu and Schrötter, as well as Yamaha ace Stefano Manzi was fought. The latter saw the checkuered flag second, but he was punished by the race management with a penalty for a track. Schrötter (119), Stefano Manzi (116), Federico Caricasulo (98), Niki Tuuli (75), Valentin Debise (65) and only one point in front of Öncü his compatriot Sofuoglu with 64 points.

Marcel Schrötter (MV Agusta F3 800 RR) was together with his team -mate Bahattin Sofuoglu (the nephew of Worldsp record world champion Kenan) most successful pilot on the Catalan weekend. With two second places, the German is now second place in the World Championship interludge.

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© WorldSBK).