News 17 Sep 2017

Rea charges to opening WorldSBK race victory in Portugal

Sofuoglu claims fourth WorldSSP pole of the season at Portimao.

Source: Supplied.

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took his 10th win of 2017 with a fantastic ride at the 10th round of the Motul FIM World Superbike (WorldSBK) Championship, which saw him dominate the race from pole and cross the line 6.189s seconds ahead of second placed Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati).

Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) just held off Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) for third place on the finish straight.

Rea was untouchable over the 20-lap contest around the 4.592km Autodromo Internacional do Algarve at Portimao as he shot away from the head of the grid and soon built up an unbridgeable lead at the front.

The victory was Rea’s 18th podium in 19 races this year and the Northern Irishman now enjoys a 95-point lead at the head of the standings.

After a crash in SP2 Davies also rode brilliantly, coming from ninth on the grid to take a highly creditable second place, beating his teammate Melandri across the finish line by just under four seconds. Melandri in turn beat Camier by just 0.342s as the Brit chased him hard in the final stages of the race.

The top five also featured Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), with Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) sixth and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) seventh.

The top 10 was completed by Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven).

There were crashes for Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), meaning DNFs for both, although the pair escaped their incidents otherwise unscathed.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) missed the race and is out of action for the rest of the weekend after sustaining a finger injury in an FP3 crash earlier on Saturday. Aussie Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 13th in the opening affair.

In WorldSSP qualifying, world champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) registered his fourth pole position result of the season, whilst Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) also secured front row starts.

Despite a crash earlier in the day in FP3 Sofuoglu produced a hot lap of 1m45.541s in SP2 to slot in at the head of the grid, with championship leader Mahias missing pole himself by just 0.035s. In a tight session Jacobsen qualified third as he lapped just 0.05s down on Sofuoglu.

Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) was on provisional pole but late crash at turn 13 saw him slip to fourth, where he will be joined on row two by another late crasher Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing).

Australians Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki) and Giuseppe Scarcella (Honda) qualified 25th and 27th respectively, while countryman Mike Jones ( Racing – Junior Team) lodged a stellar runner-up time in STK1000, followed fellow Aussie Glenn Scott (Kawasaki) in 19th.