WSBK: Jonathan Rea doubles up in Portimao with Superpole race win
Jonathan Rea takes victory in the 10-lap Superpole race ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Loris Baz, who takes his first podium onboard the Yamaha.
Toprak Razgatlioglu got the holeshot but failed to get his PATA Yamaha stopped into turn one, giving Rea the advantage once again. Razgatlioglu didn’t let the Irishman getaway, however, the Turkish rider stuck with Rea throughout the opening lap of the Portimao circuit, with Loris Baz a long way back in third.
Tom Sykes had a bright start in fifth but was under pressure from second Kawasaki Racing Team rider Alex Lowes who, just like the opening race of the weekend, had championship leader Scott Redding for company.
The second lap saw Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies, who were both fighting for ninth and tenth, collide at turn five.
Meanwhile, Alex Lowes and Scott Redding had got the better of Sykes for fourth and fifth positions. Redding looked to pass Lowes into turn one, but once again, in a repeat of yesterday’s race one, failed to stop his V4 R into turn one. Redding’s front end issues continued when Redding ran wide at the turn 13 hairpin, dropping behind Sykes, only to use his Ducati’s power advantage to regain fifth on the front straight.
As Sykes had Redding to deal with, he then found himself under pressure from Michael van der Mark, who tried to squeeze past the BMW into turn five, but ran wide and gave the 2013 World Superbike Champion the advantage.
As we entered the second half of the sprint race, Loris Baz was starting to feel the pressure from a hard-charging Alex Lowes, who in clear air had +0.3s advantage over the Ten Kate Yamaha. However, the Frenchman responded to Lowes’ charge, slightly opening the gap back up over the Englishman.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Rea stormed to another race victory and closed Redding’s championship lead down to one single world championship point with Toprak Razgatlioglu and Loris Baz completing the podium.
Alex Lowes crossed the line for fourth place ahead of Scott Redding and Tom Sykes. Van der Mark took seventh ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi who pinched eighth place off Leon Haslam in the dying moments of the 10-lapper.
Of course, the Sprint race results set the grid for race two, so Jonathan Rea will once again line up on pole with Razgatlioglu alongside. Loris Baz is promoted to the front row while the second row consists of Lowes, Redding and Sykes. The Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider is in a much better position to attempt a podium attack in the longer race two later today.