Round Three – Portimao
WorldSBK riders took on the challenges of Portimao overnight for their first two practice sessions ahead of this weekend’s third round of the championship.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) set the pace for the day; his time set in FP1 was good enough to top Friday proceedings ahead of Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha). Baz topped FP2 but his time of 1’42.522 was four-tenths off Razgatlioglu’s time from the morning. Razgatlioglu’s teammate, Michael van der Mark, ended the day sixth fastest overall.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – P1
“Fastest time on Friday is always a good start! I know in Jerez, for me it was a really bad start on Friday, and today I am feeling happy because the bike is incredible to ride here. We tried a different set-up and now we are ready for the race. Tyre choice will be important, because again we have hot conditions with the tyres sliding and so we will see tomorrow. Now I am feeling much better on the bike, so I will continue to ride like this, for the qualifying tyre we will change the set-up a little but the work we did today is very important for the race distance, which is my focus.”
Michael van der Mark – P6
“I’m quite happy with the bike now, and already from the start it felt quite good. We were struggling a little bit on corner entry and this morning we couldn’t really find the solution. In the afternoon, during the session we made a big change on the front of the bike and immediately I felt a lot better, I could stop the bike and this was what I was looking for from the R1. There are still some areas to improve, but to be honest my pace in the afternoon, after this morning, I was quite happy with it and the feeling of the bike means I can ride it easily and focus on the areas we have to improve.”
Paul Denning – Pata Yamaha Team Principal
“It’s been a really constructive Friday, probably the best one of this “strange” season so far! Given such a strong winter test performance for Toprak at this track, there was some doubt about going back to the winter test setting or continuing with some of the development settings we’ve used in Jerez. But finally, his R1 seems well balanced and he is able to produce good lap times on new tyres or old. We worked very hard to do a 14-lap race simulation in the heat of the afternoon. Certainly compared to last weekend in Jerez, Toprak and his crew are better prepared going into Saturday. Michael also had a very positive day with second position this morning. In the afternoon he chose not to use the softer tyre option and continued to work on bike balance, which allowed us to produce more rear grip and better corner entry with used tyres. We know here in Portimão that Michael is formidable and when he finds a consistent rhythm he can run with anybody! Let’s see what tomorrow brings, but right now, the Pata Yamaha team, the riders and the R1 are looking in good shape.”
Third fastest was reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as he made it two manufacturers in the top three, Rea missing out on second place for the day by just 0.045s to French rider Baz. Rea’s Kawasaki team-mate, Alex Lowes, finished in eighth place overall.
Jonathan Rea – P3
“Today has been interesting because there is a lot less grip on the track than there was last season when we were able to be super fast from the early laps. This race weekend it took a little bit of time for the track to get some rubber down and we were able to go faster in the afternoon, even with hotter temperatures. That means that the track is getting better and better. We have been understanding the tyre options that are available to us. I made a longer run in the second session to understand how the bike is behaving and to set-up the electronics a little bit better for the end of the race. We have our front tyre choice all set for tomorrow and there is still a question mark over which rear tyre to use. We have some more time in the morning to understand. But the bike is working well over race distance already and I am feeling a lot better than I did at Jerez. The bike is ‘talking’ to me a little bit more and I understand what is happening when the grip drops. It has been pretty positive.”
Alex Lowes – P8
“Our opening day was pretty good and I am quite happy with the bike, really. I want to improve a little bit in some of the longer, faster corners; I am just missing a little bit of position in the front with the bike set-up. But I felt quite good during my long run this afternoon and did a lot of laps at the same pace as my best lap. Obviously, it is my first time here with the Kawasaki. Because I have done so many laps here on other bikes it is quite a lot different in terms of how to ride my Ninja ZX-10RR to get the best from it, so it takes a bit of time to understand how to ride some parts of the track. I think almost all the other guys tested here in February. I found a good feeling this afternoon and I think I am quite a bit better than I was in Jerez, so that is quite positive.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s impressive form continued as he finished fourth for the day, following on from his fourth-place finish at Jerez. The Italian rider was just 0.017s away from matching the time of five-time Champion Rea; Rinaldi continuing to show his rapid pace by being classified as the fastest Ducati rider.
Scott Redding – P5
“It’s been a pretty good day. Maybe we struggled a bit in the FP1 where I couldn’t find my best rhythm. I was a bit worried about the gap at the end of the morning practice but in the afternoon – with the new tyre – things went much better. We still have some work to do ahead of Race 1 tomorrow but we are extremely confident“.
Chaz Davies – P12
“It’s a new challenge at a different circuit to Jerez. We have worked hard to figure out which tyres to use in tomorrow’s race. We probably didn’t go in the right direction in terms of set up this afternoon. They weren’t very productive FP2 but we will work a lot tonight to figure out how to fix some details and be ready for tomorrow“.
In seventh was Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) as he lapped around six-tenths slower than Razgatlioglu’s pace setting time. He was around four tenths quicker than Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) as the duo continue to battle it out for the one remaining BMW seat for 2021.
Tom Sykes – P7
“I really feel as a team we are starting to get a good understanding now. Its quite clear to see we are having some little issues on track, we worked hard in Jerez in the hot conditions and got very little reward from it following two technical issues. We arrived here in Portimao with another plan and I have to say I am very happy with what we have achieved from the information gathered. This afternoon when we put more of a chassis package we wanted straight away in FP2 made a big improvement. We made 3 changes in the 3 exits we made in FP2 all in preparation for tomorrow so I am looking forward to tomorrows Superpole and Race 1.”
Eugene Laverty – P10
“We learned a lot today. We didn’t make any great performances but we are managing to figure out our woes from Jerez. At the Barcelona test the bike was working really good in long distance we just didn’t have that early pace on the fresh tyre in Jerez. Now we understand what we need to do, we made some changes today to chassis angle and looked at preserving the tyre for the end of the race. The first sector we are lacking, with the new tyre we are not so strong….and I think if I stayed out on the tyre longer and longer I would get faster, which is unusual and is something we are looking in to.”
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was the lead Honda rider on Friday as he finished the day in ninth place, around one tenth ahead of teammate Leon Haslam. Bautista had a crash at Turn 5 during Free Practice 2 but he was able to remount his Honda and continue lapping the Portimao circuit as Free Practice 2 continued.
Alvaro Bautista – P9
“Today has been a positive day I’d say. My feeling this morning was not the best but we made some small adjustments this afternoon and these gave me more confidence. I was lapping more consistently even on used tyres and despite a small crash in turn 5, I can say I’m happy with what we’ve done. Perhaps the lap times could be better, but the feeling with the bike is good and I think we can take another step tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
Leon Haslam – P11
“I was happy with the morning’s work. We completed the whole session with one tyre and I was in the top three or four in terms of lap times, so it was all going well. Then this afternoon things were a little tougher, firstly physically, because I’ve been suffering from an abscess on a tooth which meant I had to visit the Clinica and get some medication from the doctors. And in addition, we tried a few things during the second session that perhaps took us in the wrong direction. So the aim for tomorrow is to reset; hopefully my tooth will be better too, and we can hit the ground running.”
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) was 13th overall for the day aboard his Yamaha YZF R1 with him and teammate Federico Caricasulo completing the most laps of anyone for the day – with American rider Gerloff completing 42 and Caricasulo 45. The pair were separated by Sandro Cortese (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR), Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) and Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) finished the day in 18th place onboard his Kawasaki ZX-10RR, finishing around 0.030s faster than Marco Melandri (Barni Racing Team) as the Italian continued his WorldSBK comeback. Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) was 20th in the combined classification, ahead of Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team), wildcard Christophe Ponsson (Nuova M2 Racing) and Lorenzo Gabellini (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team).
WorldSBK Friday Combined Times
|6||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||+0.619|
Andrea Locatelli bounced back from a crash to go quickest in the second practice session with a 1’45.598. He held off the challenge from Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) who finished the day in second place. Spanish rider Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) was third overall for the day, two-tenths away from Locatelli.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished the day in fourth place to show his pace towards the front of the field, fending off Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) by just one tenth. De Rosa finished ahead of Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha); the Frenchman rounding out the top six with a time of 1’46.260.
Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) finished the day in seventh place; clinching a spot in the top 10 of the combined standings by just a tenth of a second with strong competition throughout the field. The gap between Gonzalez in seventh and Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) in eighth was just 0.024s; showing just how competitive the WorldSSP field is. Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) was in ninth with Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completing the top 10 despite a technical issue in the latter stages of Free Practice 2.
Hungarian rider Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) was 11th with Kevin Mandredi (Altogoo Racing Team) in 12th, the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider, just ahead of Turkish sensation Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team), Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) and Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing).
Australian newcomer Lachlan Epis was 18th quickest, 2.861-seconds from the benchmark set by Locatelli.
Dynavolt Honda duo Patrick Hobelsberger and Maria Herrera, making her return to WorldSSP, were 21st and 24th respectively, with Indonesian rider Galang Hendra Pratama (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) and teammate Andy Verdoïa in 22nd and 23rd respectively.
WorldSSP Friday Times
- Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
- Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) +0.068
- Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) +0.202
- Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.464
- Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +0.550
- Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) +0.662
18. Lachlan Epis (MPM Routz Yamaha) +2.861s
|5||R. De Rosa||MV Agusta||+0.550|
|17||F. Fuligni||MV Agusta||+2.421|
|20||A. Ruiz Carranza||Yamaha||+3.206|
|22||G. Hendra Pratama||Yamaha||+3.268|
FIM Supersport World Championship’s season continued with the Championship heading to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve for Round 2 of the 2020 season, the Motul Portuguese Round. The times were topped by Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) with a time set in the first free practice session as he struck first ahead of two races this weekend.
The Dutchman’s time of 1’57.400 was enough to be fastest for the day as he denied Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) top by just 0.006s; showing just how competitive the WorldSSP300 field is throughout the grid. Deroue’s MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT teammates, Jeffrey Buis, Koen Meuffels and Yuta Okaya finished 30th, eighth and 11th respectively.
Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) finished the day in third place, just half-a-tenth behind Deroue, Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) was fourth fastest after the two practice sessions, finish about three tenths off the lead pace from Deroue; but still within range of Deroue’s pace with the competitive field. Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) came home in fifth place with Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing) rounding out the top six. Everyone in the top six managed to improve their lap times in Free Practice 2, with just Deroue lapping slower compared to Free Practice 1.
Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing by Yamaha WorldSSP300) finished the day classified in seventh place, less than half a second off the pace, despite a crash in Free Practice 2, as the race winner from Jerez continued his front running pace. Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil 78 AD) was classified ninth with Championship leader Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) rounding out the top 10.
Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) finished the day in 12th place ahead of another winner from Jerez, Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing). Oliver Konig (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) was classified in 14th place after the day’s running with his teammate, Jan-Ole Jahing in 15th. The gap between Orradre and Jahing was just 0.002s; showing how close the field is in WorldSSP300.
Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO), who had shown great pace in the two Jerez races, was classified down in 20th place but within a second of the leading pace. Christian Stagne (Freuedenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) finished the day in 21st place.
Australians Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO) is in 32nd place after not setting a lap time in Free Practice 2 for some reason, while countryman Tom Bramich ranked 45th at the end of day one.
WorldSSP300 Group A and B Friday Times
- Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT)
- Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) +0.006
- Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) +0.053
- Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) +0.325
- Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) +0.343
- Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing) +0.369
32. Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkInGo) +1.458s
45. Tom Bramich (CarlCox RT SKM Kawasaki) +2.198s
Portimao WorldSBK Schedule
|2200||WorldSSP300||Last Chance Race|
|0015 (Mon)||WorldSSP300||Race 2|
WSBK Championship Points
|6||Michael Van Der Mark||47|
|9||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||30|