Race 2 at the Portimao’s Autodromo Internacional do Algarve saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) complete a perfect weekend, with a victory by almost six seconds over second-placed Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team). Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) rounded out the podium behind the leading pair.
In the absence of the injured Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) crashing out with three laps to go in Race 2 it was another significant victory for Rea as he edges closer and closer to a third successive WorldSBK title.
The weekend could not have gone better for Rea as he won both races, secured pole position on Saturday and wrapped up the 2017 Pirelli Best Lap Award title. He now leads the general standings by 120 points over his teammate Sykes and could secure the 2017 WorldSBK title at Magny-Cours in two weeks time.
Van der Mark was delighted with his first podium with Yamaha after the Dutchman beat Melandri to the finish line by 3.367s. Just off the podium was Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), whilst Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) also featured in the top five.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team) and Takumi Takahashi (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) completed the top ten.
There was a big crash for Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) midrace at turn 13, with Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) also going down shortly afterwards at turn 3. Fores picked his machine up to finish 13th.
After an exciting Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round the WorldSBK riders will next be in action at the Pirelli French Round in two weeks’ time, over the 29th September to 1st October weekend.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) – P1
“I am really happy to win and aside from one little issue it was plain sailing race. I made some tough passes in the first laps to get my track position and as soon as I hit the front I made my rhythm and went away. We had a completely different bike set-up today. I had a lot of feedback from the bike and I was able to ride in my own rhythm but with seven or eight laps to go I had a drop in power in second gear. But as the laps were ticking down I could see that the gap was staying constant, and then I saw Chaz went out and I had some breathing space. We have had our bad luck this year in Donington. The championship lead is massive now and we can go to Magny Cours thinking about trying to win it in France. If we have a solid enough weekend in Magny Cours we can get it done. I said to Pere before the race today that because Kawasaki had won every race at Portimao there was big pressure now. He said that there was no pressure as we had done all the jobs, and I should go out and do what I had to do. I visited the podium in every single race at Portimao to say congratulations to the Kawasaki riders. The most impressive was Ana Carrasco. I have never seen an atmosphere like it and our pit box was like a football match. All the KRT team were up there at the podium, so it was cool to see.”
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) – P2
“I am really happy, this season we have come close a couple of time and we have had a bit of bad luck. I had a good start, I struggled with the grip in the beginning, I found my rhythm and It was enough for a podium. I want to thank my team, we have worked so hard and to finally get a podium is fantastic.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) – P3
“I’m happy because the team did a great job and today my Panigale R was more competitive, especially in terms of grip, but unfortunately we still couldn’t take full advantage of our potential and we struggled during the race. I started off well but soon had an issue with the thumb-activated rear brake and went wide at turn 10. Also, the bike was wobbling a lot on the straight. As I was trying to recover positions, I lost time fighting with some riders who didn’t have our pace and hindered us a bit so, when I managed to get behind VD Mark, he was too far by then. In tomorrow’s test we’ll focus on improving stability, and in the next races I want to step on top of the podium again.”
Race Two was definitely better for us. I was worried about the rear dropping off after a few laps like in Race One, but today but we put up a good fight and fourth was a good result. The steps we made overnight were huge and morning warm up was fantastic. We lost a bit of pace and grip in the hotter conditions this afternoon, but I was much happier with today and we have a reason for optimism. For Monday’s test we’ll be pursuing the same direction we’ve been following for the last few rounds. That has worked and is improving for us, and I think we will be in stronger position next time out at Magny-Cours.”
Jordi Torres – P5
“I expected a good race today after a positive warm-up this morning. But it turned out to be a tough one, as the bike was sliding around a lot and there was some vibration. I struggled at the start especially, losing a lot of ground. I gradually got back into my rhythm, despite continuous sliding at the rear and the lack of grip. I did all I could to manage the situation and in the end we finished fifth. I’m quite pleased with the final result but not with how the race went; I want to do more.”
Lorenzo Savadori – P6
“Race Two was a better result for sure, but my feeling on the bike today was worse. I struggled with rear grip again. I lost a lot of time at the start, but from the middle to the end of the race my pace was quite strong and I could have challenged for P4 I think. We did not make many big changes between Race One and Race Two, but for sure we saw an improvement in pace. Tomorrow’s test will be very important for us, and we have a lot of new ideas to try before we head to the end of the season.”
Anthony West – P8
“Eight in World Superbike, I can make the results when I have a motivated team like Puccetti behind me, and a decent bike underneath me. I’m really happy with a strong result today. Each time I got on the bike I was faster. Learning as much as I can to make a better result for the next races. Because the reality is I have do so much better then that if I want get my self a ride for 2018. I don’t have the money to buy my rides. Big thanks to Puccetti Kawasaki @puccettiracing for giving me this chance and also the team for showing they believe in me. Also thanks to my small sponsors that help me live and make it to each race, without them all would be impossible.”
Takumi Takahashi – P10
“Today we made some improvements with the set-up on the bike and, although I had the same kind of issue to get up to speed in the early stages, in the last part of the race I found myself in a position trying to bridge the gap with Badovini for ninth place before the chequered flag. We managed to finish in the top-10 with a bit of luck today and we garnered more experience, so I am now looking forward to Jerez, a track I know already, in order to push for more.”
Tom Sykes – Injured
“I have had an operation and the doctor seems to be happy with how it went. Obviously it was a nasty break and basically snapped the little finger clean in half, so it was more than a dislocation and he found a couple of other things in the hand as well – a crack in the finger next to it and a crack on the radius on the wrist. I have had that injury before and raced with it four days later in Australia, so I have been able to race with a broken wrist before. We will see what happens from now on, and see how the fingers get on in the next few days.”
Stefan Bradl – DNF
“Unfortunately, yesterday’s crash led to some problems with my wrist. We did an x-ray yesterday and it showed no fracture or damage, but during the night the situation got a bit worse because I was really in lots of pain. I tried this morning during warm up with the help of Clinica Mobile – who I want to thank for the help – but I noticed almost immediately that I didn’t have the full control of the bike. I wasn’t fast because I was not in a condition to push, so I went back to the Clinica and the doctor suggested an MRI scan back home in order to search for any possible tiny crack or ligament damage that would explain the pain. Another very unlucky weekend for us, especially because we showed signs of improvement and things were looking better. But we can take these positives into the next race at Magny-Cours and I really hope I will be fully fit for then.”
Raffaele De Rosa – DNF
“I made quite a good start, maintaining my position. After having tried something different in warm-up, I was feeling a bit more comfortable on the bike. Unfortunately though, at a certain point I forced too hard in braking and crashed. I’m sorry, as we could have scored a good result today and improved on yesterday’s performance. Not what we wanted but we’ll continue to give it our all to try and do better next time…”
Chaz Davies – DNF
“It’s disappointing to finish the race like that because we’ve missed an easy podium. Our pace was OK, we were holding station with Rea without pushing over the top, but towards the end I relaxed a little and closed the throttle a bit earlier than usual going into turn 2, which ended up loading the front too much, and I went down. I was surprised because it’s a strange place to crash, especially when you feel like you’re cruising. That said, we’ve definitely made improvements today, but we still want to make another step forward in terms of stability at the end of the race, something on which we’ll work on tomorrow. Looking at the positive, we’ve closed in to second position in the championship, due to Tom’s misfortune, and with him back we should have an interesting end to the season, so I’m looking forward to the next round.”
WorldSBK at Portimao Race 2
Jonathan Rea Kawasaki
Michael van der Mark Yamaha +5.834
Marco Melandri Ducati +9.201
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 10
Jonathan Rea 431 Kawasaki
Tom Sykes 311 Kawasaki
Chaz Davies 296 Ducati
Marco Melandri 250 Ducati
Alex Lowes 169 Yamaha
Michael Van Der Mark 166 Yamaha
Xavi Forés 156 Ducati
Leon Camier 133 MV Agusta
Jordi Torres 130 BMW
Eugene Laverty 117 Aprilia
Lorenzo Savadori 99 Aprilia
Leandro Mercado 84 Aprilia
Román Ramos 84 Kawasaki
Stefan Bradl 67 Honda
Randy Krummenacher 50 Kawasaki
Nicky Hayden 40 Honda
Raffaele De Rosa 36 BMW
Alex De Angelis 32 Kawasaki
Markus Reiterberger 29 BMW
Ayrton Badovini 25 Kawasaki
Leon Haslam 20 Kawasaki
Ondrej Jezek 17 Kawasaki
Riccardo Russo 12 Kawasaki
Anthony West 11 Kawasaki
WorldSSP – Sofuoglu narrowly secures fifth victory of 2017
The reigning WorldSSP World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was in fine form as he notched up win number five of the season at the Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round on Sunday.
On his Kawasaki ZX-6R Sofuoglu rode with caution in the early laps but ultimately beat championship rival Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) by just 0.08s, whilst Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) crossed the line in third.
Pole man Sofuoglu dropped back to fourth in the early stages with PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Mahias contesting the lead and Cluzel also getting in the mix.
But Jacobsen would eventually fall back to finish fifth, behind fourth placed Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), whilst Cluzel ultimately ran a lonely last few laps to third.
Mahias put some pressure on Sofuoglu on the last lap as the Frenchman sought to retain the lead in the general standings, but the Kawasaki rider was too strong as he showed his class for a narrow – but crucial – triumph.
Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing), Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Factory Vamag), Christoffer Bergman (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer) completed the top ten.
In an incident packed 18 lap contest there were crashes for the likes of Stefan Hill (Profile Racing), Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing), Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing), whilst Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25) missed out on the race due to technical problems with his MV Agusta F3 675 machine.
The WorldSSP riders return to action at the Pirelli French Round in two weeks’ time.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) – P1
“This one is very special, if you win a difficult race it means more. Lucas was very strong, I was ready for the fight and because it is also the battle for the championship with Lucas it is more special for me.”
WorldSSP300 – Carrasco takes debut victory in Portuguese thriller
First female victor in new series as title fight continues to heat up
11 laps of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve awaited the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship riders on Sunday, and it was Ana Carrasco (ETG Racing) who took the victory in yet another spectacular race.
Pole position man Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) got a slow start off the line, and it was championship leader Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) who took the early lead, as a group of three race leaders began to develop into a tough fight for the podium with Daniel Valle (Halcourier Racing) and front row starter Ana Carrasco (ETG Racing).
The three Spanish riders were locked in the battle for the podium finishes, but it was Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) who was hunting down the leading group as he set the faster lap times of 1.58.820. Catching the front group in the closing laps, the Spaniards were joined by Coppola who was able to find some stunning pace in the closing laps which meant he was able to join the battle for the victory.
In a stunning display on the final lap, the race all came down to the final corners and Carrasco responded perfectly to the pressure from her competitors on the final laps as she was able to take the victory over the line, narrowly beating the field by 0.053s. Coppola took second position following a well timed use of slipstream over the line, with early race leader Garcia finishing in third position.
Valle missed out on the podium to take fourth position, ahead of Perez who gave his all from 11th on the grid to keep his championship fight alive, with Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) in sixth position.
As the WorldSSP300 race continues to provide endless entertainment and Carrasco becoming the fifth different winner in the series, the title fight heats up and Coppola now leads the championship by one point ahead of Garcia. Early championship leader Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) sits in third position, 18 points off the leaders as Perez is in fourth – 19 points off the top.
Ana Carrasco (ETG Racing) – P1
“I am really happy today, it’s incredible. We have worked really hard and I want to say thank you to all the team, they worked really hard. This is a dream come true for me, and it is fantastic for the championship too. For the whole race I tried to stay with Garcia and I was able to secure the victory.”
STK1000 – Razgatlioglu victory in red-flagged race
The Superstock 1000 European Championship race on Sunday at the Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round concluded five laps early due to a red flag, with the victory being taken by Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), with Aussie Mike Jones fourth.
Pole man Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) and Maximilian Scheib (Nuova M2 Racing) were classified in second and third respectively as the race results were taken from the rider positions at the end of the ninth of 14 scheduled laps.
The red flags were shown due to a technical problem for Marino which saw smoke bellowing from his Yamaha machine at just over two thirds of the race distance.
At the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao Mike Jones (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) and Jeremy Guarnoni (Pedercini Racing) registered top five results, in fourth and fifth respectively.
Mike Jones – P4
“Pumped to finish 4th, although our race strategy was hindered by the red flag. Thanks to all for your positive support, it’s appreciated!”
Roberto Tamburini (PATA Yamaha Official STK 1000 Team), Sebastien Suchet (Berclaz Racing Team), Luca Vitali (Nuova M2 Racing), Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) and Toni Fisterbusch (Agro On-Benjan-Kawasaki) were all in the top ten.
Championship leader Rinaldi was never quite on the pace this weekend and his standings lead has now been cut to eight points by second placed Razgatlioglu.
Marco Faccani (Althea BMW Racing Team) had crashed out earlier in the race, whilst Illia Mykhalchyk (TripleM Racing) and Federico Sandi (Berclaz Racing Team) were retirees due to technical faults.
The next race for the Superstock 1000 European Championship riders will take place at the Pirelli French Round in two weeks’ time.
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