2022 Phillip Island World Superbike Superpole Race Result: Rain Delay Forces Hard Choices

World Superbike's last ten lap Superpole race of the year had a delayed pitman opening due to a downpour that appeared just as riders were about to get out to the grid. Puddles on the grid meant tyre choice would be important and the race was declared wet with the wind and sun adding to the unpredictability of the conditions. 

When the race eventually started, five minutes late, Toprak Razgatlioglu forced his way to the front with Andrea Locatelli following him. Alvaro Bautista was pushed out of position to fifteenth on his slick tyres by all the riders on intermediate tyres having better grip round corners. Alex Lowes pushed from fourth to first and Jonathan Rea passed Locatelli to get third place before the start of the second lap. Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap on lap two, as the leading three riders were covered by a quarter of a second, almost two seconds clear of Andrea Locatelli and Garrett Gerloff. 

Michael van der Mark pitted in to change his tyres. 

At the start of lap four, Rea passed Razgatlioglu bit it was Xavi Vierge who set the fastest lap, a 1'38.045, just two thousandths of a second quicker than Garrett Gerloff in front of him. A lap later, Bautista set a 1'34.617 on his slick tyres in eighth place. Jonathan Rea, Alex Lowes and Toprak Razgatlioglu all had a wet front and intermediate rear tyre and Rea took the lead ahead of Razgatlioglu and Lowes. 

At half race distance, Alvaro Bautista was less than seven seconds behind the leaders, lapping at similar pace to the leaders in traffic in seventh place. Jonathan Rea led Toprak Razgatlioglu with Alex Lowes almost two seconds off the lead. Lap six and Bautista set a 1'33.572, two seconds quicker than everyone else and carving his way past Vierge and Gerloff with ease.

At turn ten, Razgatlioglu took the lead from Rea with Alex Lowes under two seconds behind. Alvaro Bautista was over a second off Lowes and a second a lap quicker. Rea was glued to the back of Razgatlioglu with the pair three seconds off third-placed Bautista who passed Lowes and set a 1'32.636, two seconds a lap quicker than Rea, catching and passing him with ease and lining Razgatlioglu for a pass and making its stick over Lukey Heights and disappearing into the distance at two seconds a lap pace. 

Alvaro Bautista won by over three seconds over Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea who were separated by under a tenth of a second. This would be their positions for the second race this afternoon. Alex Lowes took fourth place to head the second row alongside Andrea Locatelli and Scott Redding who started from the pit lane after making a bold choice to change tyres before the race. Garrett Gerloff led the Xavis Vierge and Fores.

Jonathan Rea described Bautista's slick tyre strategy as "Big Balls." 

Second and third places in the championship were decided this race, with Razgatlioglu taking second behind Bautista and Rea taking third. 

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 19 A. BAUTISTA Ducati Panigale V4R  
2 1 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1 3.285
3 65 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 3.328
4 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 6.670
5 55 A. LOCATELLI Yamaha YZF R1 2.568
6 45 S. REDDING BMW M1000RR 9.328
7 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1 12.173
8 97 X. VIERGE Honda CBR1000 RR-R 13.427
9 12 X. FORES Ducati Panigale V4R 17.416
10 76 L. BAZ BMW M1000RR 18.069
11 44 L. MAHIAS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 27.298
12 35 H. SYAHRIN Honda CBR1000 RR-R 29.522
13 47 A. BASSANI Ducati Panigale V4R 32.064
14 36 L. MERCADO Honda CBR1000 RR-R 35.276
15 50 E. LAVERTY BMW M1000RR 35.868
16 P 5 P. OETTL Ducati Panigale V4R 40.015
17 3 K. NOZANE Yamaha YZF R1 50.920
18 11 K. SMITH Kawasaki ZX-10RR 51.281
19 49 T. NAGASHIMA Honda CBR1000 RR-R 51.701
20 52 O. KONIG Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1'03.042
21 P 60 M. VAN DER MARK BMW M1000RR 8.937
22 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4R 24.418
Round Number: 
12
2022
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Comments

Plenty of action and excitement in those ten laps.

Alvaro made a bold choice to go with the slicks. Especially considering the crazy weather! AB 19 proved himself to be a worthy champion!

Jonathan is The G.O.A.T.

Toprak is awesome and last years champion, first to beat the 6 in a row goat.

Alvaro made them look ordinary. 

I wonder whether he - or anyone in his box - was thinking about Gobert's full wets choice on the Bimota in 2000... if there's one circuit on the calendar where you sometimes simply have to roll the dice, it's Phillip Island.

Coming back in February certainly doesn't guarantee more predictable weather :)

The result of the second feature race, red flag aside, certainly points to Bautista being the absolute top of the tree for 2022, a very well deserved title.