The reigning Champion was one of only three riders to go onto Pirelli’s SC0 tyre for the ten-lap Tissot Superpole Race
A thrilling three-way battle across the ten-lap Tissot Superpole Race came to a conclusion at the Circuito Estoril with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claiming victory as he took an alternative strategy compared to his rivals at the Gaerne Estoril Round on Sunday for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
LIGHTS OUT – FOUR WAY FIGHT FROM THE OFF
Rea was the only rider on the front two rows to use the SC0 tyre and was under pressure from Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati); the Italian trying to go around the outside at Turn 1.
Rea came out of Turn 1 with the lead of the race but soon found himself shuffled down to third when both Redding and Razgatlioglu able to pass him; with Razgatlioglu moving from third to first in one move at Turn 1, although he did have to fight to keep the lead from Redding.
Redding found himself moving down the order again when he made a mistake at Turn 6, allowing both Rea and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) through although Redding responded on Gerloff just a few laps later. Meanwhile, heading into Turn 1, Rea was able to make the move on Razgatlioglu to re-take the lead of the race and claim his first victory in Estoril. Razgatlioglu was unable to respond and came home in second place, ahead of Gerloff.
COMPLETING THE FRONT THREE ROWS IN RACE 2
Rinaldi was unable to capitalise on his strong start to claim his podium with the factory Ducati outfit, coming home in fifth place after fending off the challenge from Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) by just 0.040s to complete the second row alongside Gerloff and Rinaldi.
The third row will feature two BMW machines with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) coming home in seventh place ahead of his former teammate, Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) in eighth. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) will start Race 2 from ninth after fighting through from 15th to finish ninth in the Tissot Superpole Race.
JUST MISSING OUT
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) only just missed out on a third row start for Race 2 as he finished in tenth place, just six tenths away from Davies, while Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was only four tenths away from the Spanish rider. Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) was unable to convert his top-ten start into a top-ten finish as he came home in 12th place, while Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was only half-a-second back from Rabat in 13th place.
The top nine following the Tissot Superpole Race, full results here:
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +0.690s
- Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +1.180s
- Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +2.059s
- Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +3.583s
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.623s
- Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +7.062s
- Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) +7.831s
- Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) +8.968s
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