2020 WorldSBK Round Three – Portimao
The Motul FIM Superbike World Championship standings have a new leader in 2020 following Race 2 at the Motul Portuguese Round as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) moved to the top of the standings following his third race win in 2020 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
After taking victory in the earlier Superpole Sprint race, Rea initially faced a challenge from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Yamaha) in the final encounter of the weekend. Toprak came up the inside at Turn 1, but Rea swept around the outside of both Razgatlioglu and Baz to keep the lead and pulled out a gap to claim a dominant victory; moving to the top of the Championship by four points.
Scott Redding (Aruba Ducati) claimed a stunning second place after making up three places from his starting position, the British rider ensuring Rea could not pull too far away in the Championship standings, having an almost race-long battle with Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha); the Dutch rider finishing the 20-lap race in third place.
Redding’s Ducati team-mate, Chaz Davies claimed a fourth place finish as he fought his way through the field, finishing two seconds clear of Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) as the Spanish rider secured his best finish of the 2020 season; battling his way through the field to secure a top five finish. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven) claimed a sixth place finish after showing another solid performance as he continued his impressive recent form.
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad) secured a seventh placed finish for BMW, two seconds back from Rinaldi but almost 12 seconds clear of the recovering Razgatlioglu in eighth; the Turkish sensation battling back from a crash at Turn 5 to claim a points finish. He battled with Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha) in the latter stages of the race, taking advantage of the Italian running wide at Turn 5 with just a couple of laps to go.
Leandro “Tati” Mercado (Motocorsa Kawasaki) secured his best result of 2020 with 10th place, holding off a challenge from American star Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) who finished 11th. Gerloff had an incident with five laps to go with Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti) with the pair coming together at Turn 2; Fores having to retire from the race while Gerloff could continue.
Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad) bounced back from a Turn 5 crash to claim points with 12th place, while Leon Haslam (Team HRC) finished 13th; also after a fall at Turn 5.
Marco Melandri (Barni Ducati) finished in 14th place with Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) in 15th; Frenchman Barrier securing his best result of 2020 as he picked up the final point available in Race 2.
Baz was forced to retire after a high-speed crash at Turn 15 in the early stages of the race while Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Kawasaki) retired from the race following an incident on Lap 2. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) joined the list of fallers at the Turn 5 hairpin as he came off his bike on Lap 7, remounting the bike but bringing it back to the pitlane to end his race early.
Rea taking the Championship lead means there have now been four different Championship leaders after Razgatlioglu, Lowes and Redding.
“That was a perfect weekend. The fastest laps, pole position and three race wins. I do not think it was the result, but it was the way that we made the result this weekend. I could really enjoy the bike. It is strange, because sometimes fighting for a sixth place, like we did in Jerez last time, feels like I was riding 100%. Giving everything to finish sixth. This weekend I could do whatever I wanted and kept increasing the gap at the front. It is an incredible feeling as a rider. I knew Portimao was going to be a good track, and I was talking myself into a good result, but we did not come here in the winter tests so I knew it could also be a difficult weekend. I did not start well on Friday in FP1, but we were able to just work calmly together and understand the bike.”
“It was a really hard weekend for us. We were kind of in damage limitation mode, I knew I could ride for the podium, but the bike wasn’t really working that well for us. I really wanted to get a podium here because I knew Jonny was going to win all three races after I saw his pace. It’s okay as you have tracks like that that suit bikes better, but it isn’t acceptable to finish fifth and then seventh is not ideal. We changed a lot of the bike and in the warm-up lap and told the team that I didn’t feel good. I felt good and could run with Jonny for quite a few laps. My target was to get a gap and then to manage because I knew I was going to suffer at the end. We managed to pull out second and I think that’s the best job we could’ve done here today.”
Michael van der Mark
“I’m really happy with this race. From the start, I stayed on a consistent pace and people were making mistakes. I kept in my rhythm, I felt quite good and I struggled a little bit with the front tyre. In the end, I was with Scott. I was fast but I wasn’t stronger, so I had to wait until he made a mistake. I went in front but again hit neutral and lost that gap, and then couldn’t pass him. We had a similar level; he was stronger in some points than I was. I’m really happy with this podium, the temperatures went up again and the bike felt good again. Massive thanks to the team because this morning I was very disappointed.”
“It was a shame in race two because I am really sad to have crashed out of that podium fight. After two fourth places it would have been really nice to finish the weekend off with a podium finish. That was not the case. I am not sure what I did wrong, really. The track was getting hot and slippy, and I just lost the front of the bike. Every weekend I am learning more, learning more about the bike, and these conditions were a little bit different again. I am going to focus on the test we have got coming at Aragon soon, improving a few areas of the bike set-up – and myself riding the bike – and I look forward to the races we will have in Aragon in a few weeks’ time. Apart from the last race it was a pretty solid weekend in Portugal.”
“The goal is always to bring home a trophy but I have to admit it was still a good race. I take this fourth place with satisfaction, especially after all the problems we had this weekend. Unfortunately, the contact with Laverty in SuperPole Race forced me to start from the fifth row and this didn’t allow me to stay with the front group. The race pace, however, was very good and for this reason, I am satisfied. Now we move to Aragon for two-days testing. It will be an important opportunity to prepare for the next six races“.
Serafino Foti (Team Manager Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“It is clear that after the strong weekend in Jerez we expected to get better results in Portimao. We experienced a lot of difficulties both Friday and Saturday and we were not able to put our riders in the best conditions to be competitive. I would like to thank our guys who, after analyzing Saturday’s race data, did a great job allowing us to improve our performance in Race 2. Our task is to continue to work with great concentration and never give up. In three days we will be at Aragon to prepare in the best possible way for the next double round at Motorland“.
Michael van der Mark
“Let’s start this morning with the Superpole Race – we thought in warm-up that we had found a good solution, but that turned out not to be the case and it was a real struggle from the start. I was so disappointed because I thought with the temperature a little lower than the normal race time that I would have a good chance to be on the podium, but I could do no better than seventh in the end. In the second race this afternoon, we made some changes again and to be honest from the start I wasn’t that quick but everybody’s pace was a lot slower than yesterday. I saw many people making mistakes and just tried to keep my own rhythm and stay calm, which was quite difficult. One-by-one, I caught some guys up and close to the end I caught Scott. I couldn’t really pass him until he made a mistake – but just after that I missed a gear and I lost the gap that I had pulled from him. After that I got right back onto his wheel, I was faster but he was stronger, I just had to wait for him to make a mistake but he didn’t. I’m happy with this podium though, and was also happy with the difference in the feeling of my R1 this afternoon compared to the first race.”
“Today it was both good and bad! We started well with second place, another visit to the podium and important points in the Superpole Race.. Race 2 also started relatively well, although I had some issues with the front tyre feeling early on, I was sliding a lot. Unfortunately, I had a slow crash at Turn 5 but, luckily, didn’t damage the bike and was able to rejoin the race. In the end I managed to work my way back to eighth place and pick up valuable points for the championship, but I was disappointed because normally I could have fought for another podium finish. Now we head to Aragón for the next race and we will try to get a good position there to fight for the championship. The test next week at the same circuit will be very important to work on the tyres and a good set-up for the race.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal Pata Yamaha
“Following yesterday’s double podium, the plan was to further improve the R1s for both riders and make another step today. The Superpole Race was run at a ferocious pace at the front using the soft tyres, and Toprak was unable to quite match the pace of Rea but scored another superb second place. Mikey was disappointed with the bike balance in the Superpole Race but kept it sensible to finish seventh and it was great to see his crew make a good step in performance for Race 2 this afternoon. This improvement enabled him to close down Scott Redding and secure a third place finish that could have been even better but for a small error a few laps from the end. Toprak was unfortunately faced with no grip and a bad feeling from the first lap of Race 2, and we were lucky to be honest that his R1 was not damaged too badly when he lost the front at turn five. As a result, he was able to mount a charge back to eighth place, score some decent points and re-secure third position overall in the championship. For the Pata Yamaha team, it’s a slightly strange situation once again: four podiums in three races, beaten only by a rider who has won 12 races at this venue and clearly was the class of the field, and yet to once again feel slightly frustrated that we didn’t fully maximise our potential. Our hardworking crew travels up to Aragón for a further test in the Spanish heat on Thursday and Friday, and we’ll be looking to further improve the performance ready for the double-header.”
“I am really happy with the podium! We made big changes to the electronics compared to yesterday in a completely different direction. It was a lot better. I moved up to third and held onto it until the end. It’s a huge relief! It’s been difficult for quite a while and it feels good to finish on the podium. It is my first podium since 2014, my first podium since my return to WorldSBK, the first podium for team Ten Kate since 2016 and the first podium for the team with a Yamaha. A lot of “first times” which feels good… I am really happy and would like to dedicate this result to all the people that have believed in me since I came back to WorldSBK as well as those who had doubts about my ability to go fast. The second race was strange. I crashed on the first lap in the fastest corner of the circuit. Luckily, I did not hurt myself. I am a bit bruised everywhere but for a crash at 200 km/h I am ok. There were many crashes and the pace was slower.. I think there was less grip… I am sorry to the team to finish off like this but we got our first podium under our belts and that’s what we need to remember. We will try to get a few more in Aragon.”
“It’s been one of those weekends. We definitely had some limitations, mainly on straight-line performance but we just kept working hard. The whole of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team had a good plan, we tried to utilise what we had available to our best advantage so having said that, in some areas we were very close to where we needed to be. I do believe there are positives to take, I think everyone has seen I have been struggling on engine performance. Especially off the start going into first, second and third gear I lose a lot of track position, but hopefully this is something we can address in the short term but for now we have to be pleased with what we are getting out of the chassis. I have enjoyed the races today. The track was testing and a lot of people over-stepped the mark and to be honest to come away sixth, seventh and eighth is not what my CV is happy with, but it’s all about building those blocks and getting into the next phase of the programme.”
“To hit the deck in both races today was devastating. In the Superpole race, I got caught up in the Chaz Davies crash. Chaz tried to overtake me and took me out so it’s a case of wrong place at the wrong time. In the final race, I made a great start, gaining six positions and I was going for it from the start but unfortunately I lost the front in T5. I remounted to try get back some positions and after a few laps I understood why I crashed. It was because the track conditions today were a lot greasier than the rest of the weekend. I wasn’t cautious enough, I was on the attack from the get go and ultimately it cost me. I regained positions to get twelfth place which is the least I could do for the team after having such a tough weekend.”
Shaun Muir – BMW Team Principal
“The sprint race turned out to be a good race for Tom; he rode pretty hard and I’m pleased he could get up into sixth position. It was probably the best race he has had in a while, so I am happy about that. Eugene unfortunately got taken out by another rider which summarises his weekend really; when he finds momentum, he gets taken out. Despite that he picked up 10th position on the grid for race two and made a reasonably good start, obviously desperate to get himself further up the field but unfortunately ran hot into T5 and lost the front, but managing to re-join the race and claw points back for 12th. Tom got off the line well for race two but got swallowed up into T1 dropping down to P13. He did well to battle through the field and with riders dropping out it promoted him up, but I think with the deficit on horsepower it really shows it up. Again, with that replaced I think we can be fighting for regular podiums and we know that. The bike is handing beautifully, it corners well, it brakes well and the electronics work good. We could just do with that extra bit of grunt and top speed to make this bike potentially a race winning package. I’d just like to add a huge thank you to all of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team staff; it has been a difficult two weeks on the road from Jerez last week, to Portimão this week and the work our team has put has been second to none. The guys will now have a well-earned break before heading into the back to back rounds four and five at Aragon in a fortnights’ time where we will be recharged and giving it our all.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“In general, it was a pretty satisfying day. We achieved that we can show a more stable performance over race distance. This morning, starting from fourth on the grid, Tom claimed a well-deserved sixth place in a tough battle. That was satisfying and showed the chances for the second race. Tom had a good start, but then he struggled in the first corners, especially corner five, and lost a few seconds. Due to a few opponents’ falls, he slipped up to seventh place. After the first laps, his pace was between position four and seventh and was again stable, even if we had the same problem with the engine performance as yesterday. All in all, it was a solid performance. Eugene’s day was quite unlucky. He was involved in a crash with Chaz Davies in this morning’s Superpole race. In the main race, Eugene got off to a very good start, but unfortunately fell through his own fault at the notorious turn five and was then able to fight his way up to twelfth place. We will now analyse the lap times. We have definitely made technical progress this weekend which should bring us forward in the upcoming races.”
“Our aim today was to try and improve on yesterday’s feeling. This morning in the Superpole race, I lost quite a lot at the start and then couldn’t make up the lost ground given the limited laps. In the second Superbike race, I started from the same position as yesterday and again found that I was having to make a lot of effort in the early stages to hold my position. The track was more slippery this afternoon and we saw a few crashes, so you have to manage the situation and adapt the best you can. I understood how much I could push, and I tried to ride according to that limit. The good thing is that we can be constant throughout the race. We are definitely taking small steps forward, and we’re happy we’re making progress of course, but we want to be further forward.”
“The sprint race was not bad over the first few laps, and it was nice to be up there in the mix, but from about mid-race we started to have some issues. We managed to just hold onto ninth to finish inside the points zone so that was better than nothing. We made some small steps in the final race of the day and things felt a little better. I was battling with Chaz for fifth but unfortunately on around lap seven or eight I had a problem and crashed. It was the first time I felt I could really fight so it was a little frustrating, but at least I was able to get back on the bike and finish the race. We have another test coming up, so we’ll be using that to try and solve some of the problems we’ve had this weekend as we prepare for the next rounds.”
WorldSBK Race 2
|3||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||+4.453|
|RET||X. Fores||Kawasaki||5 Laps|
|RET||A. Lowes||Kawasaki||12 Laps|
|RET||M. Scheib||Kawasaki||19 Laps|
WorldSBK Championship Standings
|5||Michael Van Der Mark||82|
|9||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||53|
History was made at the Motul Portuguese Round as rookie Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) claimed his fifth consecutive FIM Supersport World Championship win, becoming the first rider to achieve the milestone; Locatelli claiming his second victory at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
Locatelli had to fight his way back from fourth despite starting from pole position, with both Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha), teammate Corentin Perolari and Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) all getting ahead of the Championship leader. Locatelli quickly passed Viñales and Perolari but had to fight his way past Cluzel; the pair battling for half the race before Locatelli got by on Lap 9. Cluzel completed the 17-lap race in second place with Spanish rider Viñales claiming the final podium place.
It means Locatelli extended his Championship lead even further following his record-breaking race after fighting his way through the field to claim victory, with Locatelli now 35 points clear of Cluzel at the top of the standings; more than the 25 points available for a race victory in a WorldSSP race.
Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) claimed a fourth-placed finish in Race 2 at Portimao as he got by Perolari, with the Frenchman falling back behind Philipp Oettl during the race and then Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) on the race to the line; Oetll finishing in fifth with Gonzalez pipping Perolari to sixth place by just 0.045s.
Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) closed in on the battle between Oettl, Gonzalez and Perolari as he missed out on a higher-placed finish by just one tenth of a second; the Estonian gaining almost half a second in the second half of the final lap to miss out by the barest of margins. Soomer was four seconds clear of Miquel Pons (H43 Team NOBBY), who secured a top 10 finish in a wildcard appearance in WorldSSP. Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) completed the top 10 following a battle through the field.
Hungarian rider Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) completed the race in 11th place with Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finishing 12; the Italian coming off his bike on Lap 11 of 17 at Turn 5 but able to re-join the race to claim a points finish, beating WorldSSP Challenge rider Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team) by just over a tenth of a second; Manfredi the highest-place WorldSSP Challenge rider. Loris Cresson (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) finished 14th with Indonesian rider Galang Pratama Hendra (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) picking up the final point from the race.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was the first faller in the race as he came down at Turn 2 on the opening lap, retiring from the race shortly after. Lachlan Epis (MPM Routz Racing Team) was not classified following a crash on the exit of Turn 3; Epis able to get up of his own accord but taken to the medical centre for a check-up. It was a somewhat strange crash and comes after a struggle with set-up that sees Epis considering a return to Australia.
Andrea Locatelli – P1
“It’s an incredible job and we win everything! We stay calm and we worked a lot, we need to understand what the problem was in the first part of the race. For me, the track is not so easy and Jules was very fast, and for the final race we are stronger and thank you very much to the guys because every time, they do an incredible job.”
Jules Cluzel – P2
“I gave everything yesterday and today. I knew this was a circuit I’m faster than a lot of guys, especially Locatelli as well, because in practice I was feeling good with the used tyres. We are still trying to understand but more races are coming, and we still finish second. Yesterday I said to the team, and we decided to try to win. I was losing the front everywhere and losing so much time on the straight. Today, we started again but I felt like I was going to crash at every corner. I still fight and try but I understand in the end that I can’t, so I decided to concentrate on the gap to Viñales because he was riding really fast it was not easy. I am really happy with second place. We are the best of the rest, it’s a little bit disappointing because of that, but I’m racing doing what I love, and I need to enjoy these things.”
Isaac Viñales – P3
“I’m finally here on the podium. I tried hard at Jerez, but it was not possible because I had many problems. I tried yesterday and got nothing. Today, I’m on the podium and I’m very happy. Thank you to the team for all the work.”
WorldSSP Race 2
|12||R. De Rosa||MV||+37.161|
|15||G. Hendra Pratama||Yamaha||+38.227|
|16||F. Fuligni||MV Agusta||+38.975|
|RET||L. Epis||Yamaha YZF R6||13 Laps|
|RET||L. Mahias||Kawasaki ZX-6R||16 Laps|
WorldSSP Championship Standings
|8||Raffaele De Rosa||42|
|11||Can Alexander Öncü||24|
|15||Alejandro Ruiz Carranza||8|
|22||Jaimie Van Sikkelerus||2|
|23||Galang Hendra Pratama||1|
The on-track action from the Motul Portuguese Round came to an end with a thrilling FIM Supersport 300 World Championship race with a dramatic seven-way battle for the win which was won in dramatic fashion by Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) after a Red Flag was deployed with just two laps to go.
Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) was able to get to the front of the field and had looked to be building a gap at the front. Deroue was able to close up a gap of around half-a-second to take the lead with about seven riders in contention for victory during the first eight laps of the 10-lap race. The red flag meant results were taken from the final timing point all riders crossed.
Deroue was able to hold on to the lead throughout the race despite challenges from numerous riders. Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) claimed second place during the dramatic race after battling his way through from the fifth row of the grid, with Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) securing his first WorldSSP300 podium; following on from his history-making pole position from Tissot Superpole on Saturday.
Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) claimed a fourth-placed finish in Race 2 with Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300 finishing in fifth place as kept pace with the Championship leaders as he looks to mount his own challenge; with Deroue taking the Championship leader. Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) finished sixth.
Australian Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) claimed a seventh place finish despite a dramatic finish after a crash with Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300); the pair colliding at Turn 5 with Carrasco unable to return back to the pits and therefore not being classified in the race.
Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) finished in eighth place with Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) in ninth. Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) completed the top 10; just two seconds off the lead.
Gleen van Straalen (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished in 11th place, holding off Enzo De La Vega (Machado came SBK) and Oliver König (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team). Alfonso Coppola (Kawasaki GP Project) and Tom Bercot (ProGP Racing) rounded out the points paying positions with a strong 15th place finish.
The race was red flagged after an incident between Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD 78) and Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) on the run from Turn 4. Booth-Amos almost came off his bike down the start and finish straight just moments before after clipping the rear of Okaya, but the British rider was able to continue after the incident with Okaya.
There was an incident at Turn 3 on Lap 1 as Maximilian Kappler (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) and Inigo Iglesias Bravo (Scuderia Maranga Racing) with the pair both retiring from the race before it really got going. There was also an incident between Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO) and Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki); with both riders not finishing the race although Kalinin did ride his bike back to the pits.
Australian Tom Bramich hjadn’t made it through to the Main after finishing eighth in the preceding Last Chance Race while a top six is required from promotion through to the Main.
Scott Deroue – P1
“I’m feeling great at the moment. It was a very difficult race because in the cooler conditions we’re very fast but in the warmer conditions we are struggling a little bit. Today it was really warm, so I was struggling a little bit to be honest but, just really happy to finish first. Thanks to the team and Kawasaki.”
Unai Orradre – P2
“It was a very, very difficult race. I’m so happy because yesterday we crashed. The track is difficult for the Yamaha bike, but I fought in the first group and the position is so important. Thanks to the team because they worked a lot yesterday after the crash, thanks to Yamaha and all my sponsors.”
Yuta Okaya – P3
“I’m happy to get my first podium in this class. The race was very fast, I was at the maximum of my limits to follow Scott and Ana, but they were riding well in this race. I want to say congratulations to Scott.”
WorldSSP300 Race 2
|10||S. Di Sora||Kawasaki||A||15m34’54.356|
|11||G. Van Straalen||Yamaha||A||15m34’32.755|
|12||E. De La Vega||Yamaha||B||15m34’32.839|
|21||S. Sanchez Tamayo||Yamaha||B||15m34’34.965|
|RET||H. De Cancellis||Yamaha||B||15m20’33.710|
|RET||I. Iglesias Bravo||Kawasaki||B||15m16’33.891|
WorldSSP300 Championship Standings
|9||Samuel Di Sora||20|
|19||Glenn Van Straalen||8|
|20||Hugo De Cancellis||6|
|21||Enzo De La Vega||4|