Giugliano and Haslam in the top-3 as Sykes slips down to eighth place.
The conditions for this afternoon’s second WorldSBK race at Portimão's Autodromo Internacional do Algarve were almost perfect as the earlier rain had disappeared. The full 20-lap encounter on a dry circuit was won in the end by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who stepped atop the podium for the tenth time this season by crossing the line 5.416s ahead of his nearest rival Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team). Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) returned to podium ways by finishing third.
Rea’s double win moves him into 3rd overall in terms of most consecutive podium finishes (15). The KRT rider now sits in seventh place for the most number of race wins in the series (25).
As in the first encounter, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) initially led before being passed by team mate Jonathan Rea and Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team), the trio pulling clear of the pack as their pace at the front increased.
... and Aprilia too
As the race continued Rea began to stretch a lead, leaving Sykes and Giugliano to fight for second until the former champion’s ZX-10R suffered what looked like a technical problem. The former champion would eventually finish eighth. Haslam took full advantage of the situation to take third, his first podium since Aragon race 2.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) finished fourth to score more solid points ahead of the Pata Honda pairing, with Michael van der Mark getting the better of reigning World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli on the final lap.
Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) scored 9 points with his 7th place finish ahead of Sykes, Leandro Mercado, who was in the top ten once again on his Barni Ducati and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati).
Positions between 11th and 15th were taken by Roman Ramos (Team GO Eleven Kawasaki), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Nico Terol (Althea Racing Ducati).
Jonathan Rea #65 - Kawasaki Racing Team: “I have a great bike, a great team around me and great strategy for every weekend. My crew chief Pere and I sit down and work out a good set-up, evaluating our tyres. We learned from some mistakes in Donington that made us stronger here and I am riding well, but I have the tools to do it. So it is massive credit to all my mechanics for working so hard and KHI in Japan, who are continuing to develop. IWe know now where the limit is and we rode two good races today. The points gap is a lot after this round but I will try not change the way I am riding.”
Davide Giugliano #34 - Aruba Racing - Ducati SBK: “This was an important podium for me. In the I simply didn’t find the right feeling with my bike but fortunately it rained, because that way we were able to manage the situation a little better. For race two we made some changes and my team gave me a bike with which I was able to ride. The updates that my technicians have brought this weekend have helped me too and I’m really happy, especially because, after a three month break, my team has helped me to get back to a position in which I can fight for the win, which I hope will arrive soon.”
Leon Haslam #91 - Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils: “I made a bad mistake in Race 1 sliding on the wet asphalt and that worsened my ribs' condition. In the second race I lost too much time at the beginning, missing a couple of gear changes, and losing touch with the leading group. In the middle section of the race I had a good pace and was able to move up a few places to third. When I had started catching up Giugliano I began to lose my feeling with the front. I was about a second behind but the race was over at that point. Getting onto the podium was important both for me and for the team considering how hard the guys worked this weekend.”
WorldSBK Portimão - Race 2
1 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team
2 - Davide Giugliano Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team +5.416
3 - Leon Haslam Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils +6.689
Standings (7 of 13 rounds completed)
1 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team - 330
2 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team - 206
3 - Leon Haslam Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils - 199