Jonathon Rea has continued to dominate the WorldSBK season with another commanding win in Portimao and further demoralising his opposition…
After 20 action packed laps, that saw the first flag to flag race of 2015 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) has taken his 9th victory of the season in the opening race of the day at Portimao, coming home 9.384s ahead of team mate Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Team) who completed the podium.
For the first 14 laps the Kawasaki pair were playing a game of cat and mouse until with 6 laps to go the rain began to fall. 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 allowing Rea to notch up his 24th career win.
Sykes finsihed 2nd ahead of Chaz Davies (Aruba.it 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 (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) was 4th with Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing) 5th and 6th respectively.
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 9th after an off track excursion ahead of 10th placed Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who also ran off track before the rain fell.
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) completed the point scorers.
Jonathan Rea #65 – Kawasaki Racing Team
Race 1 1st – Race 2 1st
“I have a great bike, a great team around me and great strategy for every weekend. My crew chief Pere and I sit down and work out a good set-up, evaluating our tyres. We learned from some mistakes in Donington that made us stronger here and I am riding well, but I have the tools to do it. So it is massive credit to all my mechanics for working so hard and KHI in Japan, who are continuing to develop. IWe know now where the limit is and we rode two good races today. The points gap is a lot after this round but I will try not change the way I am riding.”
The conditions for this afternoon’s second WorldSBK race at Portimao were almost perfect as the earlier rain had disappeared meaning a full 20 lap encounter on a dry circuit, won in the end by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), the 10th win of 2015 for the championship leader by 5.416s.
Rea’s double win moves him into 3rd overall in terms of most consecutive podium finishes (15), ahead of Carl Fogarty who has 13.
As in the first encounter, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) initially led before being passed by team mate Jonathan Rea and Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team), 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 2nd until the former champion’s ZX10R suffered what looked like a technical problem. The former champion would eventually finish 8th.
Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) took full advantage of the situation to take 3rd, his first podium since Aragon race 2.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) finished 4th to score more solid points ahead of the Pata Honda pairing of Michael van der Mark who got the better of reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli on the final lap who rounded out the top 6.
Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) scored 9 points with his 7th place finish ahead of Sykes, Leandro Mercado who was in the top ten once again on his Barni Ducati (9th) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing).
11th to 15th positions were taken by Roman Ramos (Team GO Eleven), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini) and Nico Terol (Althea Racing).
Davide Giugliano #34 – Aruba Racing – Ducati SBK
Race 1 – 4th Race 2 – 2nd
“This was an important podium for me. In the I simply didn’t find the right feeling with my bike but fortunately it rained, because that way we were able to manage the situation a little better. For race two we made some changes and my team gave me a bike with which I was able to ride. The updates that my technicians have brought this weekend have helped me too and I’m really happy, especially because, after a three month break, my team has helped me to get back to a position in which I can fight for the win, which I hope will arrive soon.”
Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) won this afternoon’s World Supersport race withstanding incredible pressure from championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, who found himself in fifth on lap one, before slowly making his way forward and overtaking the Frenchman on tour number twelve.
The Frenchman retook 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. This is Cluzel’s win number nine in the series, his second in 2015 after the one taken in the opening round at Phillip Island. With seven events completed out of twelve, the MV Agusta rider is now 40 points shy of the lead.
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. The American was in contention for the lead in the early stages before gradually losing ground from lap 8 onwards.
Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) missed out on the podium by 0.7s taking fourth ahead of Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team).
Christian Gamarino (Team GO Eleven), Roberto Rolfo (Lorini Honda), Martin Cardenas (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) and Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing) completed the top ten.