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Rea Takes First Two As Bautista Bounces Back To Take Third

Portimao PR Strip

WorldSBK Race One: Rea takes his eight consecutive win at Portimao

The Acerbis Portuguese Round welcomed round ten of the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) securing pole and taking the race one win and three different manufacturers starring on the first Portimao podium.

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took the holeshot and the lead into turn one but there was drama behind.  A lunge from Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) saw him barge his own teammate Alvaro Bautista out of the way, forcing Bautista down to 18th place after the Spaniard tagged the back of Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team).

By the end of lap one, it was Rea leading Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Chaz Davies was up to fourth and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in the mix.

At the end of lap three, Davies and van der Mark had disposed of Haslam, with the Kawasaki rider fading. But two laps later, and Davies had got ahead of Sykes at turn one, with van der Mark taking advantage at turn three before Haslam and Razgatlioglu took Sykes. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) was the first crasher of the race at turn eight but remounted and was back racing.

Further back, Bautista was caught up behind Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) in the battle for ninth, with the two veterans of motorcycle racing swapping paint between turn 9 and 12. However, Bautista made it ahead at the end of the lap and soon, got ahead of Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK). Back in the fight for fourth, Sykes crashed at turn 13 - not the way he wanted to celebrate a contract extension for 2020. Sykes re-joined and was back in the points by the halfway distance.

Whilst they scrapped it out for the remaining podium positions, Rea had already built up a lead of over three seconds and was unrivalled and untouched and well on his way for an eighth consecutive Portimao victory.

With 11 laps to go and with tyre life now becoming a factor, Razgatlioglu made his move at turn three and got ahead of Haslam. The independent rider was ahead of the factory rider and now, Razgatliolgu had two seconds ahead of him until the podium battle between Davies and van der Mark. In seventh place, Bautista was beginning to close on Lowes, who was having a quiet race in sixth position. Bautista was the fastest rider on track, in a race of ‘what could’ve been’.

With nine laps to go, Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) came into the pits to end what had been a disappointing race. The Irishman was on pole at the Portimao venue in 2018 but that kind of success had been far away a year later. Back in the battle for fourth and Haslam had jumped ahead of  Razgatlioglu and began to edge clear with seven laps to go. But now, a new threat was very much in the fight: Bautista was taking chunks out of the gap, lapping nearly a second a lap quicker.

At turn five with six to go, Bautista took advantage of Lowes’ error as the British rider ran in too deep; Bautista was now sixth. Further up, the battle for second had calmed, with Davies seemingly able to break away from van der Mark. Bautista cleared Razgatlioglu with three laps to go on the straight and tried to get ahead of Haslam at turn three, but the Brit held on and toughed it out through turn four, as the three battled hard. A lap later and Bautista used the top speed of the Ducati and took fourth from Haslam, where he would stay until the chequered flag.

Across the line, it was Rea who took the win and extended his championship lead to 93 points.  Davies was a safe second from 12thon the grid and van der Mark a settled third. Bautista came home fourth ahead of Haslam, whilst Razgatlioglu faded to finish in sixth, but all the way from 13th on the grid to finish as top Independent. Lowes was seventh, ahead of Cortese, Melandri and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team), just edging out Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) to complete the top ten.

WorldSBK Race 1 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)  2. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)  3. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)

WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race: Rea wins as Bautista battles back

The 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship fired back into life on Sunday morning with the Tissot Superpole Race. With ten laps of action from the start, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took his ninth win on the bounce at Portimao, whilst a relentless battle for the podium took hold behind the reigning four-time WorldSBK champion.

Lights out and it was another good get-away for Jonathan Rea, holding on to his first position from Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) had a better start and was fourth ahead of Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and his teammate Michael van der Mark, whilst Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) kept his nose clean and was seventh.

However, Bautista dropped positions and soon found himself in a battle with Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) and teammate, Chaz Davies – of whom he criticised yesterday after an aggressive turn one incident saw Bautista plummet down the order. At the end of lap one, Rea hadn’t broken clear of Sykes, whilst Haslam was under pressure from the pursuing riders.

Lowes showed better pace than race one, now up to second ahead of Sykes and Haslam and soon, there’d be more problems for the British pair. Bautista was picking his way through the pack, taking Razgatlioglu and capitalising on a Melandri error at turn 12. Next up, Cortese was dispatched and then it was two-for-one as the Spaniard eased ahead of Haslam and Sykes. All moves were completed on the front straight. Bautista’s teammate Davies was not having a strong race, down in tenth.

Sykes soon fell to the back of the battle for fourth, with Haslam and Razgatlioglu getting ahead – the Turkish rider taking both at turn five with five to go, whilst Michael van der Mark made his way ahead of Cortese. Two laps later, he would be ahead of Sykes – the 2013 WorldSBK champion now down in seventh and relinquishing his front row starting position.

Bautista was now chasing Lowes and on the final two laps, the two were head-to-head, with the Spaniard getting the better of Lowes on the front straight at the start of lap 10. Whilst Lowes stayed with him, there was nothing he could do about the Ducati rider. But there was nothing the pair could do about runaway leader, Rea, who took the victory and starts from pole once more in race two. Bautista will be elevated to the front row ahead of Lowes, who took his best result at Portimao.

Razgatlioglu leapt from 13th to fourth after he held of Haslam and van der Mark in the closing stages. The group were able to hold on ahead of Sykes and Cortese, whilst Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) took ninth to start from row three – the original row three all being replaced after the Tissot Superpole Race. Most notably, Chaz Davies finished outside of the top nine and will start from 14th.

WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race Results: 1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)  2. Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)  3. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)

WorldSBK Race Two: Bautista beats Rea in final lap showdown 

A thrilling Portimao race two fired the championship fight back into life as Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) overcame a poor start and a shoulder injury to triumph over Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in a final lap run to the line. With plenty of drama from lights out and slipstreaming battles soon following, groups were scattered right through the field and provided a packed Portimao plenty of action.

Off the line and it was a blissful start for Rea from pole position but a disaster for Bautista, who plunged down the order to sixth place after lap one. Toprak Razgatlioglu was a fast starter and up to second, ahead of Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Alex Lowes was fourth(Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)and teammate Michael van der Markwas fifth, just ahead of Bautista who was right in the hunt.

Bautista soon began his comeback, first picking off van der Mark down the front straight, before picking off Lowes two laps later.  He hit third a lap later, before slicing ahead of Jonathan Rea to momentarily lead with 15 to go. But Razgatlioglu had other ideas, as the Turkish rider hit the front of the field.

With Razgatlioglu and Bautista leading, Rea had to try and find a way to react to the change of the guard at the front. Haslam was still in the mix with the two Pata Yamahas just behind; with the front six covered by just one second. A lap later, the horsepower of the Ducati propelled Bautista back into the lead of a race for the first time since Misano, and the Spaniard soon began to put the hammer down.

Rea fought back on his fellow Kawasaki rider Razgatlioglu, but whilst he closed up on Bautista, he wasn’t able to make a move on the Spaniard. Further back and at half race distance, isolation of the leading six began to set in.  Lowes made his move on Haslam with 10 to go, after the ‘Pocket Rocket’ lost an entire second to his fellow Brit.

One rider to watch was Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) as he closed on the battle for fourth. Behind them,Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Jordi Torres (Team PederciniRacing) were squabbling over ninth, just behindMarco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK).

With the gap between Bautista and Rea extending to over a second, and Razgatlioglu sat in a safe third place – barring acts of God – the big battle on track was for fourth, with Lowes and Haslam swapping places with five laps to go. At turn three, van der Mark parked his Yamaha in the way of Haslam, bringing Baz right into play. Haslam fought back however, and a lap later he was back in fifth place and chasing Lowes.

In the closing laps, the race began to come alive at the front, with Rea lapping quicker than Bautista and the gap coming down to less than a second, although with two laps left to run, it was beginning to look a little bit late for Rea to return to the front. However, his teammate Haslam, was climbing all over Lowes in the battle for fourth.

On the final lap, the gap at the front closed dramatically and Rea was right with the Spaniard, but on the run to the line, Ducati power prevailed over Rea’s resilience. Bautista was back on top and took the verdict, winning for the first time at Portimao. Rea was second and Razgatlioglu took a tenth career podium in third.   Lowes held-off Haslam but Baz made it to sixth and beat van der Mark. Lowes therefore returns to the third overall.

Melandri putting in a hearty effort for eighth place, whilst Sykes was able to beat Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) in the remaining places inside the top ten. Jordi Torres was eleventh and couldn’t return to the top ten, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team),Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) completing the points.

The 1-2 gap comes down to 91 points in the championship race, but the battle for third is well and truly alive, with 45 points covering third to seventh.

WorldSBK Race 2 Results: 1. Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)  2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)  3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing)

WorldSBK Championship Standings  

1. Jonathan Rea - 490 points (Kawasaki)  2. Alvaro Bautista - 399 points (Ducati)  3. Alex Lowes - 249 points (Yamaha)  4. Michael van der Mark - 244 points (Yamaha)  5. Leon Haslam - 229 points (Kawasaki)


WorldSSP: Caricasulo beats Krummenacher in red-flagged Portimao race

The FIM Supersport World Championship never fails and Portimao was no exception in a thrilling 18-lap battle. Before the race had started, there was already drama as ESS champion-elect Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) started from the back of the grid for going over his engine allocation. Back at the front however, it was yet another championship battle to remember. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) made more ground up on his teammate Randy Krummenacher, taking the win and edging closer to the championship lead.

Visit worldsbk.com.au for the full WorldSSP race report

WorldSSP Race Results: 1. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)  2. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) 3. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)

WorldSSP Championship Standings  

1. Randy Krummenacher - 193 points  2. Federico Caricasulo - 183 points (Yamaha)  3. Jules Cluzel - 145 points (Yamaha)