Fourth-straight WorldSSP win of Locatelli equals series record.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s defending champion Jonathan Rea took a commanding victory in race one of Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Portimao on Saturday.
It was the perfect way to bounce back from Rea’s worst race finish in six years when he finished sixth at Jerez last time out, going on to win from pole position.
Rea was initially challenged by Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) until the former pulled clear, but it was behind the leading duo where much of the action was taking place. Michael van der Mark eventually cemented P3 on the second of the official R1s.
Next of the Kawasakis, Alex Lowes finished in fourth, overcoming Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati), Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing Ducati), who had initially made his way from eighth to fight for a podium, but lost pace in the latter stages.
Finishing eighth was Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC Honda) and Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), also inside the top 10.
OUTDO Kawasaki TPR’s Sandro Cortese was the only rider who crashed, on the last lap at turn 11. The German was transferred to Faro hospital following the incident where he will undergo surgery to stabilise a fractured vertebrae and showing no signs of neurological impairment. He also fractured his right tibia.
In World Supersport race one, Andrea Locatelli (Bardahl Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) claimed victory as he equalled a record set three years ago by WorldSSP legend Kenan Sofuoglu by winning four-consecutive races. Joining him on the podium was Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and with Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) had mounted pressure on Locatelli, but went down on lap 11 at turn five. He remounted to rejoin to race and crossed the line in sixth. Australian Lachlan Epis (MPM Routz Racing Yamaha) finished in 18th position.
The Supersport 300 World Championship race was won by 2018 champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec Racing) over Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki Motoport), Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM Racing) completed the podium. Kawasaki-mounted Australian Tom Edwards was a non-finisher.