Championship standings after the first race at Portimao:
Five times world champion Jonathan Rea is the most successful World Superbike rider around Portimao, but Toprak Razgatlioglu heads to the grid after a tremendous couple of days qualifying, and Scott Redding has a title lead to defend. With riders getting enough practice in the right weather to know what their tyres should do, the riders lined up with an audience of 250 fans allowed to watch with a socially distanced post-pandemic grandstand view under a 30°C summer sky.
Superpole qualifying for World Supersport would determine the grids for both today's and tomorrow's races. Without qualifying tyres, fast laps could come at any time in the session.
World Superbike Superpole at Portimao opened with Toprak Razgatlioglu being the quickest rider, but with riders having the option of what should be called the Tom Sykes tyre, he would have his work cut out for him if he intended to get a front row start.
Three Frenchmen set the provisional front row, with the Yamahas of Jules Cluzel and Corentin Perolari beating the Kawasaki of Lucas Mahias.
Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark kept Yamaha on top in the last free session.
Loris Baz ended the session quickest, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu. and Jonathan Rea. Rea held the top spot for most of the session, but ten minuted from the end, riders started putting in fast laps to clutter up the top of the sheets. Michael Ruben Rinaldi was the quickest Ducati throughout the session, with Redding only breaking into the top ten in the last few minutes. Tom Sykes was sixth quickest, still within three tenths of a second of Baz's time, and Michael van der Mark was only four tenths off the pace in seventh.
The afternoon session resembled the morning's times, with three Yamahas in the top quarter of a second, Andrea Locatelli, Jules Cluzel and Isaac Viñales holding off Lucas Mahias.
Continuing Yamaha's good fortune at Portimao, Anrea Locatelli, Jules Cluzel and Corentin Perolari set the three fastest times, with Lucas Mahias the only other rider within a half second of Locatelli's quickest time.
Weather was not as punishing as last weekend in Jerez, with an air temperature of 26ºC.
Loris Baz set an early fast time, but ten minutes in, Jonathan Rea briefly held the top spot until Loris Baz took it right back with a 1'43.029, A further five minutes and Rea set a 1'42.803. After the quicker riders took a mid-session break, Toprak Razgatlioglu set a 1'42.103 and was joined by Michael van der Mark, knocking Rea to third place, but nobody could get within six tenths of Razgatlioglu.