World Superbikes: Bautista reasserts series dominance as Rea earns two third spots

Toprak Razgatlioglu is trying to chase down Alvaro Bautista for the championship
Toprak Razgatlioglu is trying to chase down Alvaro Bautista for the championship

Defending champion Alvaro Bautista reasserted his dominance in this year's World Superbike Championship as his Race Two win at Magny-Cours extended his series advantage to 57 points.

Toprak Razgatlioglu's Race One win and Superpole triumph had cut Bautista's lead only for the Spaniard to respond.

Bautista was ahead in Race Two when a crash forced a restart but was even more dominant when the riders returned.

Razgatlioglu edged a battle for second with Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea.

The Turkish rider and Rea swapped second and third places on several occasions as Bautista pulled clear but Razgatlioglu produced a strong final lap to finish nearly a second ahead of the Northern Irishman.

Rea will move to Razgatlioglu's Yamaha team for the 2024 season as the Turkish star switches to BMW.

After leading by over second seconds at the start of the final lap, Bautista slowed on his Ducati in the closing stages as he came in 5.893 seconds ahead of Razgatlioglu to secure his 19th win of the season.

The first instalment of Race Two had to be red flagged on lap five after a collision involving Scott Redding and Dominique Aegerter, which led to the Briton being given a double long lap penalty for the restart.

In the earlier Superpole race, Bautista took second despite a crash with Ducati-team-mate Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Bautista avoided a penalty for colliding with Rinaldi when battling for the lead and although the championship leader continued while the Italian crashed out, he could not catch Razgatlouglu for the win, as Rea completed the podium positions.

Six-times champion Rea remains in third place in the series but is 277 points behind the Spaniard.

World Superbike standings

1 Alvaro Bautista (Spa, Ducati) 467 points

2 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Tur, Yamaha) 410

3 Jonathan Rea (GBR, Kawasaki) 290

4 Andrea Locatelli (Ita, Yamaha) 256

5 Axel Bassani (Ita, Ducati) 219

6 Danilo Petrucci (Ita, Ducati) 180