The BMW rider stormed to the top as the weather turned bad in Portugal…
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s final day of action at the Motul Portuguese Round got underway and in stark contrast to Friday and Saturday’s sunshine, it was a miserably wet morning Warm-Up on Sunday. As the rain fell hard and the clouds gathered above, the WorldSBK stars took to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Flying the BMW flag at the head of the field, Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) topped the session.
Michael van der Mark was on a mission and enjoyed his time at the top. He came good in the final part of the session to take top spot come the chequered flag, with the rain not dampening his or BMW’s Sunday spirits. It was a strong session for Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) as the Frenchman was straight down to business and sat at the top of the timesheets for part of the session. He finished second, whilst Leon Haslam (Team HRC) popped up into third. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took fourth with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was fifth, as he returned to the track after his Race 1 crash.
In sixth place was Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), with the Italian holding off Championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), who was top Yamaha and only went out to do four laps. Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was impressive in eighth place, ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing); Bassani hoping for a strong wet showing after his Catalunya Race 1 podium. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was 11th, a place ahead of Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). The treacherous conditions caught out Lachlan Epis at the halfway point of the session with a highside at Turn 7, although his bike wanted to carry on before coming to rest at Turn 8.
Top six after WorldSBK Warm-Up, full results here:
1. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’55.355s
2. Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) +0.135s
3. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +0.666s
4. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.767s
5. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +1.084s
6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +1.831s
Watch the remainder of the Motul Portuguese Round with the WorldSBK VideoPass!