WorldSSP: It’s time to bring back the battle

Monday, 10 September 2018 09:00 GMT

Four rounds remain and all is to play for

Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is set to be a pivotal stage for the ninth round of the FIM Supersport World Championship, as there are plenty of points still to play for with four weekends remaining. 35 points split the top six riders, and it will be the first time competing around the 4.5km circuit for more than half the grid. Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) leads the way by five points, but anything can happen in WorldSSP.

German rookie Cortese has impressed so far this season, finishing off the podium on only three occasions in 2018. But he is heading into new territory this weekend, preparing to make his debut around Portimao with his YZF-R6. But any new tracks he has taken in his stride so far this season and with his rivals hot on his tails, the opening free practice sessions will be key for the 28 year old.

Main rival Jules Cluzel (NRT) has been able to impress throughout the season following a steady start to his 2018 campaign, but once the championship hit Europe he has only finished off the podium once. One of the most experienced men on the grid around the Portimao circuit, he has two wins, one podium and one DNF under his belt in Portugal. Taking pole position here in 2015, his pace here will be one to watch. Hungry to get a grasp on the championship lead, he will put up a strong battle.

There has been some changes to the grid throughout the summer break, with Hector Barbera joining the series with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing as he replaces Sheridan Morias on the ZX-6R. The experienced Spaniard underwent two days of testing over the summer, but now he has a new battle around the undulating Portimao circuit. Whilst British rider Alex Murley joins GEMAR Team Lorini, making his debut in the series.

The championship battle isn’t only down to two men however, as Randy Krummenacher (BARDHL Evans Bros WorldSSP Team) sits in third position and only 22 points behind. With some pivotal summer tests put in, the Swiss rider is making his WorldSSP debut around the circuit meaning it will be a bigger challenge than normal with his YZF-R6.

Follow all the WorldSSP action from Portimao as it promises to offer some stunning action out on track, with the lights going out for the race on Sunday 16th September at 13.45LT. Enjoy the stunning action with the WorldSBK VideoPass.