Almost 3,000 days since their last win in 2013, BMW claimed a WorldSBK victory as van der Mark mastered tricky conditions at Portimao
A long wait of 2,994 days is over for BMW after Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claimed the German manufacturer’s first victory since the Nürburgring 2013 in Race 2, with the Dutch rider mastering difficult conditions at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in the Tissot Superpole Race for the Motul Portuguese Round, while Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed out of the lead for the second consecutive race.
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Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) got the better start of the Championship’s lead trio but soon found himself under pressure from Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), with six-time World Champion Rea taking the lead on the opening lap.
As the leaders approached Turn 13, Rea lost the front of his machine and went off the track, the crash forcing him out of the race for the second consecutive race after his Race 1 crash on Saturday, meaning Rea will start from tenth for Race 2 later this afternoon. Razgatlioglu and Redding were the lead duo, but things soon changed in the 10-lap race as Razgatlioglu dropped down through the order while Redding remained clear at the front.
A FIRST BMW M 1000 RR VICTORY
With all the drama out in front, van der Mark was working his way through the field and moved into the lead of the race on Lap 4 at Turn 5 after taking advantage of Redding running wide at the left-hander hairpin; BMW leading a race for the first time since Phillip Island 2020, in Race 1. He will therefore start Race 2 from first on the grid, ahead of Redding in second.
Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) claimed third place after withstanding the challenge from Leon Haslam (Team HRC), although Haslam did briefly pass Baz before crashing out at Turn 13 on Lap 8. A second crash for Haslam at Turn 3 on Lap 9 meant he brought his machine back to the pits, promoting Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) into fourth place.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER IS SIXTH
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was another beneficiary from his teammate’s misfortune to move into fifth place, ahead of Championship leader Razgatlioglu in sixth; the Turkish star able limit his damage in the race after dropping down the order rapidly in the early stages, with Bautista and Razgatlioglu completing the second row alongside Locatelli.
FROM THE THIRD ROW IN RACE 2
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) continued his streak of top-ten finishes since his podium finish in Catalunya with seventh place, withstanding a charge from Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) with the American star just 0.068s behind Bassani. Irish rider Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was almost two seconds back from Gerloff with ninth as he starts from the third row.
Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) claimed the first top ten of his WorldSBK career as he finished in tenth place, as the top Kawasaki rider, two seconds clear of Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) in 11th; although both riders will start from their Superpole result as they missed out on a top-nine spot.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was an early retirement in the race after a crash at Turn 8, with the Italian rider taken to the medical centre for a check-up. Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was forced to start from the pitlane but the Belgian rookie retired from the race. Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was a late retirement after the Japanese rookie crashed on Lap 6 at turn 13.
The top nine following the WorldSBK Superpole Race, full results here:
1. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
2. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +4.140s
3. Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) +5.479s
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +8.913s
5. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) +9.359s
6. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +13.689s
7. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +15.143s
8. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +16.069s
9. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +18.204s
Fastest Lap: Michael van der Mark (BMW), 1’54.895
Watch WorldSBK Race 2 from Portimao at 14:00 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!