Troy Bayliss wound up his Superbike career, and the 2008 FIM Superbike World Championship, with a spectacular double win in the final round at the Portimao circuit in Portugal in front of 91,000 spectators.
The first race was totally dominated by Bayliss, who powered into the lead at the start and was never seen again. The triple world champion's margin over his pursuers was just over two seconds at the flag but it had been much wider throughout the race. There was a terrific scrap for the remaining podium places, the right choice of Pirelli tyre making all the difference and in the end it was Checa who came on strong to take the runner-up slot from Corser. The outcome for fourth place was also uncertain until the flag, and it eventually went to Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), making his WSBK debut. Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki Alstare) recovered well to finish fifth, ahead of another Spaniard, Gregorio Lavilla (VentAxia Honda) and Leon Haslam (HM Plant Honda). Max Neukirchner (Alstare Suzuki) crashed out while trying to reach the leading group, while Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) and Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati) both retired a few corners in after a clash.
The second race saw another totally dominant win from Bayliss, who bows out after a season in which the Australian clearly proved to be the strongest rider out there. Ducati's triumphant day was completed with a second place for Michel Fabrizio while the final podium place went to Leon Haslam (HM Plant Honda) who got the better of Neukirchner in the final stages. Thanks to a sixth place behind Nieto, Corser finished runner-up in the championship, taking advantage of a ride-through penalty for Haga for a jump start. Regis Laconi (Kawasaki) scored a good result in tenth for Kawasaki, while Biaggi could only finish in thirteenth place.
FIM Supersport World Championship
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) made a victorious return to the Supersport class. The Turkish rider, 2007 world champion, after a few laps settling in, took control of the race and went on to win by a wide margin over his future team-mate Andrew Pitt, who won this year's title. It was a terrific battle for third between Joan Lascorz (Glaner Motocard.com Honda) and (Parkalgar Honda), with the win going to the Spaniard in a sprint finish. Fifth went to Broc Parkes, best Yamaha to the chequered flag, while Gianluca Nannelli (Hannspree Honda Althea) finished sixth.
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup
The deciding race for the Superstock 1000 category proved to be an exciting one, as Brendan Roberts (Ducati Xerox Junior Team) powered to the win and the title. The young Australian also gained an advantage from a crash by points leader Xavier Simeon (Suzuki Alstare), which allowed him an easy run to the title. Second place went to another Australian Chris Seaton (Celani Suzuki) ahead of Maxime Berger (Hannspree IDS Ten Kate Honda), another of the stars of this season. Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni) finished fourth, while Alex Polita (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati) was out of luck in the title battle after starting from row 5.
European 600 Superstock Championship
The Superstock 600 race was also decided in a sprint finish, with the win going to British rider Gino Rea (Stonebaker Yamaha). Rea got the better of his French rival Loris Baz (Yamaha YZF Junior Team), who won the title this year. Third place went to Italian Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Motor Italia Junior Team), a result that enabled him to take the runner-up slot in the championship.