2018 Portimao World Superbike Race Two Results: Warmer Weather, Hotter Action

Twenty laps of Portimao with only six races left after this one. The grip was slightly down as the temperature was slightly up, compared to yesterday's race.

The reverse grid put Chaz Davies in pole position, alongside Tom Sykes and Loris Baz while race-winner Jonathan Rea would start in ninth place, alongside Michael van der Mark and Marco Melandri. 

Chaz Davies led Tom Sykes and Toprak Razgatlioglu into turn one while Loris Baz dropped down to eighth from the front row, being passed by yesterday's podium of Jonathan Rea, Marco Melandri and Michael van der Mark, with Rea getting to fifth place very quickly. At turn nine, Rea powered through to third place in a move that outclassed Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Toprak Razgatlioglu and Marco Melandri wasted no time in following him, eventually catching up with Rea by taking fourth place at the start of lap two. Michael van der Mark tussled with Rinaldi and Razgatlioglu, passing the Turkish rider on the outside and nearly taking fifth place from Rinaldi. 

As Marco Melandri set the fastest lap on lap two, Jonathan Rea closed up to his second-placed teammate Tom Sykes, behind Chaz Davies and spend lap three trying top pass him. Rea took second place at turn five only for Sykes to take it back at turn six, but as Rea hounded Sykes, he found a way past at turn thirteen. Melandri turned Sykes's race from bad to worse, taking third place from him into turn one of lap four, but Sykes fought back and switched under Melandri's Ducati to take his place back at turn two. 

Jonathan Rea closed the gap to Chaz Davies and the fight for third gave him a gap from Sykes who had Davies's teammate to worry about. A lap later, on lap five, Melandri finally made a pass stick, taking the last podium spot off him into turn five. 

Now it was Michael van der Mark's chance to seize. He closed in on Tom Sykes, demolishing a gap of over a second to end up in Sykes's wake by lap seven, while Davies and Rea charged off at the front, over a second clear of Melandri. A lap later, as van der Mark sunk his claws into Sykes, Rea made his move on Davies into turn one, taking the lead from him briefly, only to have Davies to take it back a turn later. Van der Mark pushed past Sykes and very quickly put a gap in between the pair. 

Lap nine, with the leading pair both taking turn one at impossible-looking speeds, Marco Melandri started closing in and as lap ten started, Chaz Davies, Jonathan Rea and Melandri were together. Rea took the lead into turn one and Davies took it back four turns later, with Rea's front tyre within an inch of Davies's rear. Lap twelve, the three still inseparable, Rea tried to pass into turn one, at the end of the long straight, but Davies was later on the brakes and held his lead. At turn ten, though, Davies missed the apex and Rea passed him at turn eleven, a fast and tough pass that turned into a block pass at the exit. Rea finally held the lead for more than a couple of corners. Melandri didn't want Rea to get away and made a move on Davies into turn one, but Davies was going a little too quickly and Melandri followed him, the pair going wide, with Melandri leading. Michael van der Mark didn't slow down and barrelled past the pair at speed, closing on Rea.

Lap fourteen, and Chaz Davies finally looked like his injuries caught up with him, and he left the fight for the win to the three riders in front of him. Jonathan Rea, leading, tried to get away from the exuberant Dutchman in second place and the Italian with strange taste in eyewear in third, but the three kept up an almost identical pace, only getting out of each others' wakes by the last lap. Chaz Davies, though, had attracted a new dance partner in the form of Tom Sykes, but try as Sykes might, Davies wouldn't show him a way past and the pair finished the last lap in the order they started.

Jonathan Rea won his sixty sixth race, extending his championship lead to one hundred and sixteen points over fourth-placed Chaz Davies while second-placed Michael van der Mark, going one better than yesterday, took another seven points off Davies in his fight for second place in the championship. Marco Melandri, swapping yesterday's second place for third, once more demonstrating that the reverse grid doesn't really change much, closed to within eleven points of Tom Sykes's fourth place in the title chase.

With six races left, and one hundred and fifty points up for grabs, Rea's one hundred and sixteen point lead, seems insurmountable, and the Kawasaki rider is well and truly in line for his fourth championship in a row, an astonishing achievement. He will be able to cement his title at the next round, Magny-Cours, in just two weeks time.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR  
2 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 1.189
3 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale R 2.813
4 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 4.594
5 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 4.834
6 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 11.417
7 50 E. LAVERTY Aprilia RSV4 RF 11.732
8 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale R 12.507
9 76 L. BAZ BMW S 1000 RR 12.741
10 12 X. FORES Ducati Panigale R 18.973
11 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 20.244
12 45 J. GAGNE Honda CBR1000RR 20.943
13 81 J. TORRES MV Agusta 1000 F4 23.395
14 2 L. CAMIER Honda CBR1000RR 31.216
15 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 32.183
16 68 Y. HERNANDEZ Kawasaki ZX-10RR 33.076
17 99 P. JACOBSEN Honda CBR1000RR 45.173
RET 96 J. SMRZ Yamaha YZF R1 13
RET 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 12
RET 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 9
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Round Number: 
10
2018
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Total votes: 14

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Comments

It's Doohanesque now. Even he could not believe he won this race. If.....

Total votes: 6

Good to see Van Der Mark keeping Yamaha on the podium.

Sure wish WSBK would adopt BSB rules. I'd kind of like to see riders win races instead of the team that drops the most money into electroincs. Glad I did't renew WSBK this year. What a yawn fest.

Total votes: 10

So JR will almost certainly win the title in race 1 as he only needs to finish in the top 6 and, barring accidents or breakdowns, I doubt there are even 3 riders who can seriously challenge him for the win. With 7 further races left, would that be the earliest the title has been won in a season.

Its said so often now than in itself it’s boring to repeat, but unfortunately this makes the series very dull. Not JRs fault, just the way it is. At least in MotoGP and BSB the leaders are having to work their socks off every race.

Total votes: 10

Even Marcquez isn't this dominant. WSB had a go at flattening the tech this year to make the racing closer, but that doesn't stop JR being by far the best rider. Look how the attendances are dropping way in WSB, I wonder what can be done.

Total votes: 12

that Rea prefers to be a big fish in the small WSBK pond instead of pushing for a MotoGP ride, even if not on a factory team. I'd be interested in his thoughts, but I have the feeling that Eugene Laverty wouldn't have traded his solid 2016 results in MotoGP (finishing the season 13th with multiple top 10s) for a WSBK championship.

Total votes: 13

Surely you make more money as a rider by winning multiple races and the title each year than you’d ever get mid-pack in MotoGP? Rea is no spring chicken in racing terms and I’m sure that if I was him I’d be comfortable enough, at this stage of a career, to stick with the better deal.

Total votes: 12

If money is the rider's primary motivation, then yes... if they want to test their abilities against the best riders in the world while riding the most sophisticated machinery, then no.

Total votes: 7

He was too loyal to Honda, where he no doubt was made all sorts of promises. By the time he got on the Kwack he was already too old for a decent MotoGP ride. Add in the fact MotoGP, team managers are very dismissive of WSBK, or indeed anything outside their paddock.

He's happy, winning, earning, doubt he cares what we think. Personally, reckon he is the best racer in the world with a British passport, sadly we'll never find out.

Total votes: 11

I can't blame Rea for wanting a competitive/factory level ride in MotoGP when Rookies coming up are looking for that same exact thing. He wants to have a shot at winning races, and is not interested in MotoGP top 10s.

 

Total votes: 7

JR's management tried to get him a ride in MotoGP earlier this year. Nobody was interested on suitable terms by the looks of it. Seems incredible but if you're over thirty you're counted as being too old to invest in (I really don't understand that btw). He's clearly very talented and I'd love to see him compete against the very best. I'd guess for instance that he's a better rider than Petrucci who is getting a factory Duc next season. We will never know...

Total votes: 4

Despite the rules being stacked up against him to slow him down he keeps winning. Maybe they should make him pull a plug lead off to give the others a chance.

I surprised everyone calls it boring, rather enjoying seeing history made by one of the best riders in the history of the series doing his stuff. 

Total votes: 9