Can Cortese conquer Portimao rollercoaster?

Monday, 2 September 2019 14:29 GMT

The German rookie has shown plenty of pace in 2019, as he sets his sights on good results at the Acerbis Portuguese Round

Reigning WorldSSP champion Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) is set to make his Portimao WorldSBK racing debut this weekend at the Acerbis Portuguese Round, as the German rider returns to action after the summer break. Having endured his worst result of his 2018 World Supersport campaign at Portimao last year, Cortese will be looking to put his Portuguese demons to bed and edge closer to his teammate, Marco Melandri, in the championship standings.

Cortese’s two-day test at the 4.592km circuit was productive, as the 29-year-old ended up in seventh overall and the fourth-fastest Yamaha. With three other Yamahas inside the top five, the sweeps, undulations and technicalities of the Portimao circuit lend themselves to the Yamaha YZF R1. Can Cortese challenge for his best result of the season and crack the top five?

“After such a positive two-day test in Portimao at the end of August, I'm really looking forward to heading back to Portugal for the race this weekend. I worked hard over the summer break with my physiotherapist to rebuild the strength in my injured shoulder and it was nice to be able to ride more relaxed on the bike once again at the test.

“I'm feeling good, I'm happy with how the bike was working at the two-day test and now I'm ready to push for good results in the final part of the season, starting this weekend in Portimao.”

Yamaha have had a good history at the Portuguese venue, with three podiums from the last three races putting them in good shape this season. Cortese’s teammate, Marco Melandri, gave Yamaha their only victory at the circuit back in 2011, whilst the Japanese manufacturer took pole position with Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

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