After two crashes in Portimao, Jonathan Rea claimed victory in Race 2 while Championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu crashed out
The rollercoaster venue of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve provided more ups and downs in the battle for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) responded to two crashes during the Motul Portuguese Round with an emphatic victory as Championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) crashed out of the race at Turn 15.
ANOTHER TWIST IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP
The start was delayed due to a technical issue when the riders were lining up on the grid for the start of Race 2, with the delayed start meaning the race distanced was reduced one lap from 20 laps to 19. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was on the move from tenth place as he found himself in second place at the end of the opening lap, while Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) moved into third place.
Rea made his move for the lead through the fast Turn 9 left-hander on Lap 2 on Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), relegating the British rider who had led from the start. At the start of Lap 2, Razgatlioglu passed Rea into Turn 1 before the six-time World Champion responded. The trio were battling throughout the opening laps, with both Razgatlioglu and Rea able to take advantage of Redding running wide at Turn 5 at Turn 10 on the same lap. Razgatlioglu made a move on Rea down the start-and-finish straight to move into the right-hander of Turn 1 at the start of Lap 7, before Rea responded at Turn 11. At the end of Lap 10, Razgatlioglu crashed at Turn 15, the same place Rea did in Race 1, which forced the Championship leader out of the race. Rea went on to take the 110th win and the 210th podium of his career, narrowing the gap in the Championship to 24 points. Rea’s victory means both he and Razgatlioglu have scored 25 podiums this season, the first time it has happened in WorldSBK history. The top two in the Championship are also tied with 25 podiums and 11 wins each.
At the start of Lap 13, Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) moved up into podium contention after his third-place start in Race 2 after overtaking Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) into Turn 1; Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) had tried to pass both of them in the same but Baz was wise to it, cutting back on the Spanish rider to re-take third place. Two laps later and Bautista looked to make a move through the opening couple of corners with Baz defending and keeping the position. The battle went on through Lap 16 and 17 with Bautista looking to make the move into Turn 1 each time and Baz responding into Turn 2. On Lap 18, Bautista looked to make a move on Baz into the Turn 5 hairpin, with Bautista running wide and Baz looking to reclaim the place. Through the exit of the corner, the pair made contact with Bautista coming off his bike and retiring from the race. Baz held on to cross the line in third place, while Locatelli came home in fourth place after withstanding a late surge from fellow Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in fifth place. After the race, Baz was sanctioned with a one place position drop, demoting him to fourth place and promoting Locatelli to third; the Italian’s fourth podium of his rookie campaign.
Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was sixth after starting from first place, five seconds clear of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) with the Italian suffering from a right ankle sprain and contusion and a right hip contusion following his Tissot Superpole Race crash. He battled with Leon Haslam (Team HRC) throughout the race with the pair separated by just three tenths at the end of the 19-lap encounter.
Italian rookie Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) continued his strong form with ninth place, after battling with Rea during the open lap of the race, eventually finishing two tenths clear of Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) as he scored points again as he continues to stand in for Tom Sykes.
Laverty finished five seconds clear of Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) in 11th place, who was also clear of Spanish rider Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in 12th place. Japanese rookie Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was 13th, just over a second behind Viñales, with Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) and Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) rounding out the points. Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) was the last of the classified runners in 16th place.
Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was the first retirement of the race after a Turn 2 crash at the start of Lap 3, with the Belgian rookie taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the incident. Cresson was diagnosed with a concussion and a left knee injury and will be transported to Portimao Hospital for further assessments. Cresson’s teammate, Lachlan Epis, also retired from the race while Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) suffered from technical issues during the early running and brought his bike back to the pits. Wildcard Gabriele Ruiu (B-Max Racing Team) was also a retirement from Race 2 after completing 10 laps.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 2, full results here:
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +5.425s
3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +12.289s
4. Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) +12.300s
5. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +13.596s
6. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +15.289s
Fastest Lap: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) 1’41.309s
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 478 points
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 454
3. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 424
4. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 249
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 249
6. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 211
WorldSBK heads to Argentina next and you can watch all the action using the WorldSBK VideoPass!