News 8 Jun 2015

Rea sweeps dramatic Portimao WorldSBK races

Cluzel holds on for hard-fought World Supersport win.

Source: WorldSBK.

Source: WorldSBK.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s current 2015 World Superbike Championship leader Jonathan Rea has claimed another double victory at the Portimao, Portugal, round on Sunday.

After 20 action-packed laps, that saw the first flag-to-flag race of 2015, Rea has taken his ninth victory of the season in the opening race, coming home 9.384s ahead of teammate Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati Team).

More than two thirds of the encounter saw the Kawasaki pair play a game of cat and mouse until, with six laps to go, the few drops – that were already falling down – turned into heavy rain.

All but Sykes came in to change to wet tyres with Sykes following suit the following lap. The duo fought it out until Sykes made a mistake caused by a small and temporary technical problem, allowing Rea to notch up his 24th career win.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team) who completed the podium after a titanic fight with Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) in the early stages.

Davide Giugliano ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team) was fourth ahead of Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati).

Ayrton Badovini brought the BMW Motorrad Italia entry home in 7th ahead of Leandro Mercado, who experienced his first ever flag-to-flag race on the Barni Racing Ducati.

Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) recovered to ninth after an off track excursion as Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) rounded out the top-10 after running wide in the early stages of the race.

Jordi Torres was the first of the factory Aprilia riders in 11th, the WorldSBK rookie just beating team mate Leon Haslam who fell and re-joined on his first lap after changing to wet tyres.

Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), David Salom (Team Pedercini) and Nico Terol (Althea Racing Ducati) completed the point scorers.

The conditions for the afternoon’s second WorldSBK race were almost perfect as the earlier rain had disappeared.

The full 20-lap encounter on a dry circuit was won in the end by Rea, who stepped atop the podium for the 10th time this season by crossing the line 5.416s ahead of his nearest rival Giugliano. Haslam returned to podium ways by finishing third.

Rea’s double win moves him into third overall in terms of most consecutive podium finishes (15). The KRT rider now sits in seventh place for the most number of race wins in the series (25).

As in the first encounter, Sykes initially led before being passed by teammate Rea and Giugliano, the trio pulling clear of the pack as their pace at the front increased.

As the race continued Rea began to stretch a lead, leaving Sykes and Giugliano to fight for second until the former champion’s ZX-10R suffered what looked like a technical problem.

The former champion would eventually finish eighth. Haslam took full advantage of the situation to take third, his first podium since Aragon race two.

Davies finished fourth to score more solid points ahead of the Pata Honda pairing, with van der Mark getting the better of reigning World Superbike Champion Guintoli on the final lap.

Torres scored nine points with his seventh place finish ahead of Sykes, Mercado, who was in the top 10 once again on his Barni Ducati and Baiocco.

Positions between 11th and 15th were taken by Roman Ramos (Team GO Eleven Kawasaki), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia), Lowes, Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Terol.

Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) won the World Supersport race withstanding incredible pressure from championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).

The Frenchman took the lead at the start of the last lap as the two riders exchanged position twice again, before Cluzel pulled away to win by 0.184s.

PJ Jacobsen backed up his strong debut qualifying performance with his new team (CORE Motorsport Thailand Honda) to take the final place on the podium. AARK Racing’s Glenn Scott was an impressive 13th in his first Portimao showing.

Roberto Tamburini (Team MotoxRacing BMW) has come out on top at the end of the 14-lap, FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race, with Aussie duo Bryan Staring (Pedercini Kawasaki) and Aiden Wagner (Team Suzuki Europe) sixth and 14th respectively.

Click here for detailed results