Alvaro Bautista wins Race 2 in Portugal and gets even closer to his second consecutive Superbike title after giving the spectators in Portimão a thrilling head-to-head with Razgatlioglu.
Although Toprak was able overtake Alvaro every so often, there was nothing he could do in the end, and the Ducati rider is now only two lengths from a victory. “For a couple of laps, I let the tires rest because, when you’re so close, the front tends to overheat and you lose in performance,” the 38-year-old rider commented about the decisive stages of the race. “My pace was slightly better than his, but he was giving it his all to try to pass me. I’d try to close, and he’d get in. We were so close that, at times, I thought he was going to pull me down too if he fell. It was so extreme that, on more than one occasion, I had to raise the bike to avoid contact.”
After saying he was pleased with a duel that he nevertheless hoped would see a few more riders in action, the rider from Talavera de la Reina explained his strategy. “I could’ve settled for second place and secured good points for the standings, but I wanted to beat Toprak. I knew he was expecting my attack on the last lap. In the Superpole Race, I had thrown myself inside. This afternoon, I took the outside, opening the throttle at its max even if the bike slipped. It wasn’t prepared, but I had thought about it in the morning.”
To allow #1 to achieve yet another goal, a Desmosedici that’s more incisive in some sections of the Yamaha and the 2021 champion. “If he’s better than me in breaking away, I’m better in fast corners, like the last one in Portimão,” he explained. “The same goes for the bike. The Ducati forces you to brake harder in the middle of the straight. But, compared to them, we’re faster in changes of direction.”
Alvaro was asked if the 26-year-old is the fastest he’s come up against in his career. “I dueled with Simoncelli, Rossi, Pedrosa, and Marquez in the MotoGP. Everything is different there, as are the riding styles. Of course, he’s an aggressive rider who can move the bike quickly, performing extreme maneuvers without making mistakes or falling.”
Finally, he commented about not having won this round. “No disappointment about having to postpone the party,” he concluded.