The British rider claimed three second-place finishes in Portimao as the battle for the Championship intensifies
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship saw a titanic Motul Portuguese Round at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, one of the most memorable and pivotal rounds of the season so far. One rider who showed great consistency was Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), performing well in the dry and then again in the wet Superpole Race, before finishing in second during Sunday’s Race 2. Closing in on second in the Championship, Scott’s strength at Portimao will see him go into the end of season rounds in Argentina and Indonesia.
Despite heading up the second row of the grid and vowing that he didn’t think he’d have the pace to battle for victory, Redding would take the fight to Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) but have to settle for second. In the Superpole Race on Sunday and in the heavy rain, Redding was solid as he worked his way into second on the opening lap and despite leading the opening few laps, Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) would overcome his future teammate and take the win. In yet another dramatic Race 2 encounter, which saw Championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu crash out at exactly the same corner as Rea did in Race 1, Redding was again second, with three podiums bringing him back into the title race, just 54 points behind Toprak.
Speaking about his weekend, Redding said: “It was difficult for me to go with Jonathan. He’s very strong around here. My strong point was the last corner and the first sector. The wet patches were on my lines, not so much on the other lines, so I couldn’t use my strong point to the maximum and that was why I couldn’t really go with the pace. Happy to have second because a podium is always good, second is quite good points. We need to think, overall from the weekend I took the most points.”
Redding’s Championship fight may see him fighting it from a distance but he’s still in with a mathematical chance, whereas he’s made rapid gains on Rea in the overall standings and is back in the fight for second overall. In terms of the Manufacturers’ Championship, Ducati are keeping the pressure on Yamaha whilst keeping Kawasaki at bay; they are 13 points behind Yamaha at the top, whereas they have a relatively comfortable 35-point lead over Kawasaki.
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