Press releases after Sunday's races at Portimao:
#PortimaoWorldSBK Day 3 - Rea performs perfect Portuguese weekend
Championship leader secures sixth consecutive win, his best streak in his WorldSBK career
Perfect Portuguese weekend for Rea
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) showed tremendous composure once again to win his seventh consecutive race at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and his sixth consecutive in this year’s MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, after a thrilling battle through two thirds of the race with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). He was accompanied on the podium by Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
A brilliant start from Rea pushed him straight up to third inside lap one, with Davies and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) keeping their grid positions in one and two. Flying past his teammate on lap three, the Northern Irishman set up another stunning duel with the Welshman, one that we’ve seen repeated several times this year.
The battle quickly heated up, and fans were treated to a sensational battle. A first strike at the beginning of lap eight saw Davies defend his position on the exit of turn 1; two laps later, Rea dashed into the slipstream again, this time successfully, but the Ducati found the space to counterattack at the braking point of turn 5. Meanwhile, Melandri closed into a mere few tenths of a second of the squabbling pair, with van der Mark also moving near.
The pressure eventually got to the Welshman however, on lap 12: Davies went wide at turn 10, being comfortably passed by the Kawasaki with no chance to respond. Melandri tried a move on his teammate for second on the return through the main straight, but both went in too hot, leaving the door open for the trailing Yamaha to swoop in and climb to second in one smooth move.
With the memory of their stunning battles at Assen and Donington Park fresh in the minds of all WorldSBK fans, Rea and van der Mark set out for another thriller. The reigning champion’s pace was however just too strong for the Dutchman to surpass at this point, and he remains undefeated since Laguna Seca.
Melandri secured third place at the flag, joining Rea and van der Mark on the podium for the third consecutive race. While Davies’ pace faded off after his mid-race battles, the Welshman did manage to hold off Sykes for fourth position and complete a sensational weekend as he was hindered by a collarbone injury.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) made amends for his mistake in Race One by rising to sixth in Sunday’s race, one position ahead of his teammate Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia). Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) was the best independent rider on track at Portimao, crossing the line in eighth.
Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) couldn’t keep hold of his front row start and finishes Race Two in ninth position, just ahead of Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) in tenth and eleventh, respectively.
That’s a wrap from Portugal! Join us in two weeks’ time for the last European round of 2018 at Magny-Cours, from 28-30 September.
P1 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
"I have no words for whats happening right now, I'm just grateful to my team for supporting me every weekend, I have no words. To double up here again, it's incredible. I feel very very lucky and privileges to be in this position, so I'm just hoping to ride this wave as long as I can."
P2 - Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
"Its been a strange weekend, on Friday it seemed like we were not on the pace and yesterday we were a but lucky to get third. We changed some small things to improve the bike in the hotter conditions. Today I stayed calm, made my way to the front step by step and I tried so hard to catch up with Jonny and he was a bit quicker. I tried so hard to race at the front, so a big thanks to the team."
P3 - Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
"It was very difficult, the track today was a bit more slippery, it was not was not to come back from behind and I made a few mistakes when I tried I tried to pass Chaz, I didn't have a lot of chance to pass him as he brakes so hard. So we went wide and then van der Mark passed me, and in some turns I was pretty slow and in some others I was coming back, but they didn't make any mistakes and I tried to make some moves. So third position today is the best result I can get today and we're looking forward to getting to Magny."
#PortimaoWorldSBK at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve: Race 2
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) +1.189
3. Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) +2.813
Double For Rea As Sykes Takes Fifth Place
A second Portimao race win of the weekend for Jonathan Rea (KRT) saw him extend his championship lead while his team-mate Tom Sykes took another fifth place finish to keep fourth position in the overall points ranking.
Portimao proved to be as fruitful as ever for Rea this weekend. Since he joined Kawasaki in 2015 he has won six Portuguese races in a row, on a Ninja machine of some sort, and seven in a row at Portimao overall.
Rea’s 12th race win so far in 2018 extended his all time winning record in WorldSBK to 66. He has earned full points for six races in succession recently, scoring doubles at Laguna Seca, Misano and now Portimao.
After his first race victory on Saturday Rea had to start race two from ninth position, which made today’s race a more combative affair in the early laps. Chaz Davies led for the first 11 laps across the line, with first Sykes and then Rea challenging behind. Rea made a pass stick on lap 12 and then eased out a lead as the podium order changed behind him. Michael van der Mark eventually finished second, Marco Melandri third.
With Sykes feeling more comfortable with his machine settings today he had greater confidence in the battles for the podium places. He was in a fight for fourth right to the end and he was just 4.834 seconds from the winning race time today.
With the Sunday race having started at 15.15, as opposed to 13.00 on Saturday, the conditions were slightly different, which meant the race was both slightly slower than Saturday’s event and more closely contested.
In the championship Rea now has 420 points, Davies 304 and van der Mark 284, with three rounds and six races remaining. Jonathan will have his first opportunity to close out the championship at the following round in France, if results go his way. Tom is fourth in the points, with a total of 240.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) crashed out at T10 and did not finish race two, but is still ninth overall in the championship. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) scored the last point on offer today for 15th place, with Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 16th. Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) fell, remounted and then retired later in the race.
The 11th round of the 13 round championship takes place at Magny Cours in France, between the 29th and 31st of September.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “The run right now is incredible. It was a really tough race, as I had to fight a lot in the beginning. I made a very good start and had good track position early on. At turn five an opportunity opened up behind two riders and I found myself right behind Tom. He proved very hard to pass. I made a pass stick in T13, and chased Chaz down within a lap. Then it took me so many laps to go past him because he was braking so late, and his bike was so fast in the straight. Once I got past I just concentrated on making a couple of clean laps and setting my rhythm. The pace today was a little bit slower because the temperature had risen a bit and also I used the tyre a little bit more coming through the pack. I put everything into the race and managed to get 25 points, so I am really happy.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “We made a massive step with the bike today. We had good speed all weekend but suffered over 20 laps. We did not have the information, so yesterday we struggled with the front and finished about 13 seconds back. Today, we took nearly ten seconds off of that. We came a lot closer and basically we had a lot more information, and learned from it. We had consistent speed in race two and the bike gave me a lot of warning and feedback. I want to thank my team for this. I suffered a little bit on those last two laps and I think Davies also dug a little deeper with his pace. I tried a few little things to pass but almost losing the front three times in two laps is probably enough. I was just trying to create an opening but he defended well on the last lap.”
On Form Van der Mark Fights for Victory in Portimão Race 2
Third in World Superbike Race 1 yesterday, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rider Michael van der Mark went one better today, with a superlative ride to second place after a tremendous battle at the front of the field in Race 2 at Portimão. Alex Lowes took a hard-fought 11th place and more important championship points today, having not quite managed to find a confident feeling with his Yamaha YZF-R1 at the technical and demanding Portimão circuit this weekend.
Starting seventh on the grid following his third place yesterday, van der Mark settled quickly into the race before starting his push towards the front on the third of 20 laps. The 25-year-old eventually forced his way through to fourth, and then closed on the podium group by mid-race distance.
With eight laps to go van der Mark took advantage of an attack by Marco Melandri on Chaz Davies and made an incredible pass on both on the inside exiting turn one. The Pata Yamaha rider then made a concerted effort to chase down championship and race leader Jonathan Rea, narrowing the gap to less than half a second, but finally the gap proved insurmountable in the laps remaining. Van der Mark took the chequered flag in second place to secure his ninth podium finish of the season and maintains third in the championship standings with 284 points, but now just 20 points behind second-placed Davies with six races remaining.
The Portimão weekend proved a difficult one for Lowes who, despite his and the team's best efforts, never really found the confidence in his Yamaha YZF-R1 that his fast and aggressive riding style demands. A technical issue in yesterday's race meant that the 28-year-old started from the fifth row of the grid today, with the result that he was held up by traffic in the early laps. Once clear of the traffic Lowes rode an intelligent race to a points scoring finish in 11th place. The Pata Yamaha rider was disappointed with the result, but remains confident of improvement next time out in Magny Cours.
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 2nd + 1.189
"I didn't get the best of starts, but I stayed calm because I knew the grip levels would be low with the track temperature going up a lot. We'd changed the bike a little bit to compensate for this and it felt quite good from the start. Step-by-step I made my way through to the front and I was able to run pretty much the same pace as Johnny, Chaz and Marco. But then Marco and Chaz got into a battle with each other and I was able to take advantage of them both running wide out of turn one to pass them for second place. I tried to catch Johnny, but he just had a little bit more pace than me in the closing stages of the race. Anyway, another podium is an amazing way to end what has been a great weekend for me and my team, and we will keep pushing next time in France."
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 11th + 20.244
"Overall it's been a tough weekend here in Portimão. I just haven't been able to dial in the bike to give me the feeling I needed, and I was losing time on corner exit in both races here. The team and Yamaha's engineers worked tirelessly to find a solution, but we were just missing that little bit of feeling that would have made all the difference. It would have been easy to push too hard to compensate, so at least I'm happy to be leaving here with points from both races. We have some work to do now, but I'm confident we'll be back where we should be in Magny-Cours."
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK - Team Principal
"An exciting Race 2 here at Portimão and, in my opinion, Michael's best performance of the season so far. Today he went up against the best riders in the championship, all performing very strongly. Michael pushed Jonathan to the very end, having come through from seventh position at the end of lap one in an aggressive but controlled, impressive manner. Congratulations, not only to Michael but also to his crew, for finding progressively better technical solutions and putting the best YZF-R1 possible out on circuit today. Unfortunately Alex had another challenging race. Of course, starting 13th on the grid didn't help, but it's been a complicated weekend and we didn't find the solutions today to allow Alex to ride with his normal aggressive confidence and flowing style. Whilst they are always very close in outright performance, our two riders do have very different riding styles in certain areas and we need to focus on the solutions needed to get Alex more comfortable in the areas he struggled with today."
Another podium for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team in Race 2 at Portimão with Melandri (3rd), Davies 4th again despite an injured shoulder
After a second-place obtained in Race 1, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team took another podium in Race 2 at Portimão (Portugal) with Marco Melandri, third on the finish line, only two seconds behind the winner at the end of a particularly balanced race, characterized by high temperatures with more than 40 degrees on the tarmac. Chaz Davies, who already dazzled the crowd with a brave comeback from 15th position Saturday, was once again fourth after leading the race for 11 laps despite an injured right shoulder.
The Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team also rode a strong race with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who significantly reduced the gap from the front to finish 8th, first among "Independent" riders. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will be back on track at Magny Cours (France) for the 11th round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship, scheduled for September 28-30.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 3rd
"It was another tough race, though probably a bit more fun than the first one. I had a strong start but I struggled to make a few passes early on and I lost a bit of ground. Then I cut the gap from the front, but I had to ask a lot to the tires and eventually they dropped. In some corners I was struggling, while in others I was fast, but it wasn't enough to pass VD Mark or Rea because we were all lapping with a similar pace. In the end I'm very happy, we achieved the best possible results, obtaining the most from both the bike and myself. Hopefully this is a good sign for the future."
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 4th
"This was one of the most challenging rounds in my career, for sure. Portimão is one of the most physical tracks on the calendar and I haven't been able to train properly for a long time, not to mention the pain in the right shoulder. Honestly, if somebody would have told me that I would get P4 twice here, I wouldn't have believed it. Big thanks to my guys because we've made strides with the package through the weekend and we ended up actually quite close to the winners. Now we've got a few days to train and rehab ahead of Magny Cours to kickstart the final part of the season. I'm looking forward to the next race."
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21) – 8th
"I'm very happy with today's effort, not only because of the final position but also because we've significantly improved our pace compared with yesterday, reducing the final gap. It's a shame I lost two positions in the final laps, we still need to improve a bit but I'm satisfied with our race. I want to thank my crew because they worked really hard on every single detail. We'll try to make another step forward at Magny Cours."
Serafino Foti, Team Manager
"This round was certainly positive for us. Marco took home two important podiums, finishing both races close to the winner. Especially Race 2, which was particularly balanced. Chaz was incredible, going well beyond our expectations to finish twice fourth, a crucial result given his current physical conditions. Now we'll go to Magny Cours with one goal in mind: to take as many wins or podiums as possible and finish the season on a high note."
Solid points for Gulf Althea BMW on Sunday at Portimao
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 16 September 2018
The Gulf Althea BMW Racing Team and rider Loris Baz have concluded the second Superbike race at Portimao in ninth position, while Alessandro Delbianco scored a sixth-place finish in today’s Superstock 1000 race.
Superbike - Race 2 – thanks to his result in yesterday’s race (sixth), Baz lined up on the front row of the grid in today’s race at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. From third, the Frenchman lost a few positions through the first corners, lying eighth after the first lap. On lap six, he was able to pass Razgatlioglu to move into seventh place, but in the second part of the race, he unfortunately lost a little ground, finishing today’s race in ninth position.
STK1000 - Race – eighth in qualifying, Delbianco started from the third row of the grid. Ninth through the opening corners, the young Italian made up two positions over the course of the first laps, lying seventh by lap five. With more than a four-second gap separating him from the group immediately ahead, Delbianco maintained seventh place until the very last lap, where he moved up one position to cross the line sixth.
With ten rounds of the championship already completed, Baz lies tenth in the general standings with 103 points. Delbianco now places eighth in the Stock1000 championship with 45 points scored thus far.
"It was a good race, better than yesterday's. It’s just a shame that we struggle to get the bike to start, as it meant we lost the benefit of starting from the first row today. I’m sure with a better start we could have gained another position or two. I’m happy with the weekend overall though, the best of the year so far, so I hope we can continue like this for the rest of the season and achieve a top five finish at last. The guys did a great job and now we’ll work hard to prepare for what is my home race at Magny-Cours.”
“It was a tough race but that was to be expected after a two-month break and my recent injuries. I’m fairly happy though, as I knew the best I would be able to do would be fifth, so sixth is not at all bad. It was important for me to finish today’s race and score some solid points after a few mistakes in recent races, and so I’m pleased I was able to do that.”
“Overall, a very positive weekend for the team but also for the rider, because a sixth and a ninth-place finish is not easy to achieve with the bike we currently have. Loris has continued to adapt to the BMW, but many of our rivals clearly have something more from a technical standpoint. I’m satisfied anyway, particularly with the way Loris has interpreted the weekend, he gave it his all as ever, and I congratulate him on that. As for Alessandro, I’m pleased, but not totally, as we expect great things from him in Stock1000, but we haven’t been able to have many indications from him as yet due to a series of incidents this season. Our championship starts now we could say; he finished sixth today and we’re pleased he concluded the race without making any mistakes. He still has plenty of time to demonstrate his real value and we are there with him."
Savadori and Laverty take solid points finish from Race 2 at Portimao
Autodromo Internacional do Algarve 16 / 09 / 2018
Race Two Report #PortimaoWorldSBK
After the disappointment of Race 1 which saw record-breaking pole sitter Eugene taken out by another rider and Lorenzo crash, Milwaukee Aprilia were prepared for a tough fightback on Sunday.
Due to their DNFs Eugene and Lorenzo lined up P10 and P11 respectively in the thick of the midfield action. At the start both riders lost out to Camier behind who took P9. A mechanical issue for him however dropped him out of the running, Lorenzo passing him at the start of Lap 2 with Eugene following.
They ran together before a retirement for Razgatlioglu ahead promoted everyone from P7. They then chased down Baz in seventh, Lorenzo passing on Lap 8 and Eugene following suit on Lap 12 to take P8.
Lorenzo began to create gap to his teammate, closing in fast on Rinaldi. With four laps left he made a passing move which stuck, and was gearing up to fight Sykes for P5 before deciding to manage a front vibration problem and consolidate his finishing position of P6. Eugene had a lonely end of the race, chasing Rinaldi and passing him at the death on the last lap to come home P7 behind his teammate.
With a weekend result that is not representative of the strong progress and development the team have made in recent rounds, Milwaukee Aprilia continue to push hard for more podium finishes with both riders as the season enters its final three races.
Round 11 of the WorldSBK championship takes place at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France, 28-30 September.
Shaun Muir - Team Principal
"It was a long difficult race today. The track temperature was a little higher than yesterday which hurt Lorenzo particularly, he couldn’t reproduce the full speed he had yesterday.
It was a missed opportunity perhaps, but we consolidated yesterday’s problems and DNFs with two good points positions. We were only 11 seconds off the front at the end, we’d like to close that down and we had the pace to be top 4. The starting position today hurt us and it took us too long to pass Rinaldi and Baz, and we paid the price for it.
We had good form at Magny-Cours last year, the weather was pretty changeable but there is a good base for us to work from for that weekend. We needed the races today to give each rider back their confidence, and I expect to see them fighting from the start of FP1."
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Race 2 grid: P11 - Row 4
Race 2 result: P6 - 10 points
Total weekend points: 10
"When you start a race in P11 it’s never a good position to be in, but scoring points was a good result for us. I had a good start but I struggled a little at the beginning to pass. I finally made it up to P6 and I thought I could challenge Sykes for P5, but I started to get a strange vibration in the front which we need to investigate.
It was then really difficult for me to keep the bike stable for the rest of the race, and I must also change something in my style for arrival and exit of the corners to improve this. I lost a bit of time fighting with Rinaldi and we must also work to be quicker passing riders at the start of the race, to make progress quicker.
I hope to continue our development at Magny-Cours, and I hope we are closer to the podium ad big points. We were not far off this weekend and of course Eugene was quick too which is good for the team, so for sure I think we can have a good round."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Race 2 grid: P10 - Row 4
Race 2 result: P7 - 9 points
Total weekend points: 9
"The race was really tough. The guys I was battling with had so much rear grip and suddenly it got difficult. It felt like I was riding on ice and I was so gentle getting off the brakes and touching the gas. Opening it up 100% was so difficult and it just didn’t feel like I was really racing the bike.
We know that our bike is good now and this track is quite slippy; anywhere where the rear tyre life drops off we struggle. I can’t make the rear push quite as much as Lorenzo who’s bigger, but that is something we will address in Magny-Cours.
Not having race data from yesterday definitely hurt us in the race today. Qualifying was a great feeling but I knew we still had to push hard in the races. I had some fantastic laps this weekend where I didn’t even have to work hard, so the aim is to get that feeling again next round.”
Gagne and Camier fight to double points finish in Portimão Race 2
Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team completed round 10 of the FIM Superbike World Championship with a double points haul in Race 2 at Portimão.
Camier and Gagne started Race 2 from fourteenth and fifteenth place on the grid respectively and after a slow start, increased their pace in the second half of the twenty lap contest to make up positions around the technical Portuguese track.
Gagne managed to maintain an excellent rhythm in the latter stages and finished in twelfth place, the rookie’s performance saw him finish just a couple of seconds behind a top ten placing.
Meanwhile Camier found himself as low as seventeenth place but methodically made his way past the slower riders ahead of him to claim fourteenth place and ensure a point-scoring result in his 200th race in the FIM World Superbike Championship.
With ten rounds of the championship completed Camier sits in thirteenth place in the standings on 90 points, while Gagne is seventeenth overall with 48 points with 3 rounds remaining this season.
The next round of the FIM Superbike World Championship takes place at France’s Magny-Cours circuit from the 28th to the 30th of September.
Leon Camier 2
We tried another setting for Race 2 today to try and improve my feeling on the bike but unfortunately it didn't work so it was a tough race. There's more work we can do to get the best out of our package, as I still think the bike is capable of a lot more than what we got out of it here in Portimão. I'm looking forward to working with the team to turning things around in Magny-Cours.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Jake Gagne 45
We had a really positive weekend here in Portugal, having all that testing made the start of the race weekend easier and that helped me in the races. Today I had a good Warm Up and the changes we made to the Fireblade made it work better in the race. I finished 12th so it was good to get more points and learn from the guys I was racing with. Overall I'm happy with the progress I made this weekend and as I raced at Magny-Cours last year, for the next round I'm sure we can aim for more good results.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
The positives to take away from this weekend is the performance of Jake who had his most consistent race weekend away from his home round and he stepped up again in Race 2. On Leon's side though, it was a disappointing weekend as we weren't able to give him a bike he could perform on and this showed in the result today. We need to analyse the data, work out what happened and ensure we can provide a better performing package for our riders at Magny-Cours in two weeks time.
Portimão a stiff test for Triple M Honda World Superbike Team
Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal
The Triple M Honda World Superbike Team got its season back underway under the warm sunshine of a Portuguese autumn after the long summer break since the previous round at Misano in early July.
The first year WorldSBK team and rookie WorldSBK rider PJ Jacobsen took on the challenges of the heavily undulating and endlessly complex Portimão circuit over three free practice sessions on Friday 14th September, looking for an ideal set-up.
Optimum settings proved elusive and PJ entered Superpole 1 on Saturday in 17th position. He eventually qualified 18th on the grid for the first 20-lap WorldSBK race.
Flagged off at 13.00 local time in Portugal, the race saw PJ go from 17th on lap one to 14th and a points scoring position on lap nine. PJ dropped down the order and eventually retired when he felt a problem developing on his machine.
In race two on Sunday, which was started at the later time of 15.15, Jacobsen could not make early progress and finish 17th, not adding to his points score as a result. He is ranked 19th in the points table after ten rounds and 20 individual races.
The next WorldSBK meeting will be held at Magny Cours in France, between the 28 and 30 September.
PJ Jacobsen 99
Yesterday’s race pace was not so bad and we could challenge for maybe 12th place, but then I had a small problem. Today we had a really good rhythm in the warm-up session but the race was totally different. We did not have the grip that we had over the rest of the weekend. No changes or anything but maybe we just did not have the grip.
- Triple M Honda World Superbike Team
Yesterday PJ retired because near the end of the race as he felt a vibration with his bike. The mechanical and electronic checks showed that that everything was OK, but we could see on the data that the bike was shaking. It may be related to the tyres or something else, so we are investigating. Today the grip level was less than yesterday, but we expected something good because in the warm-up PJ had a good rhythm but in the race it was difficult. We all must do something to show that the championship is not finished so we are looking for better results in the next rounds.
WorldSSP: Caricasulo secures second win in extraordinary circumstances
Italian benefits as red flags were waved with one lap remaining
Shock win for Caricasulo after dramatic race finish
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) has scored an important win at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve ahead of the impressive Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag), in perhaps the most extraordinary end to a race in FIM Supersport World Championship history, after Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) was denied a return to the top of the rostrum twice in the space of five minutes.
A lightning start from Jules Cluzel (NRT) at the lights moved him immediately into first place. It lasted just one lap however, as Mahias made good use of slipstream to move back in front at the exit from the main straight.
Then disaster struck as championship leader Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) attempted a move into second at turn five, another in a series of stunning battles that both men have held this year. But this was one move too many: the German slipped, taking both him and Cluzel out. A racing incident that nonetheless harmed the Frenchman the most, as he was unable to rejoin whilst Cortese was able to hold the clutch in and managed to recover and head back in pursuit of some points.
With their two strongest rivals out of action, this ninth race of the season quickly turned into a GRT battle. Separated by just a point in the standings and with both riders in search of their second race win of 2018, Mahias rapidly opened a one second gap with Caricasulo, taking the fastest lap of the race along the way, and entered the final lap with a comfortable lead.
In a dramatic twist to the end of the race, Mahias suffered tyre issues as he crossed the line for the final lap, which put an end to his hopes of securing a second win this season.
But then the red flags came out: Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer) and Borja Quero Martínez (EMPERADOR Racing Team) had crashed together at turn 11 in the previous lap, meaning that the results going into the penultimate lap of 18 would be final… As long as every rider makes it back to the pits within five minutes of the official race end.
With his machine still rolling, Mahias set out around the Portuguese track without a rear tyre, for perhaps the longest lap of his career. In incredible conditions and crashing twice along the way, Mahias made it to the pits in what he initially thought was within the time limit – but it was not. As such, everyone moved up a place, with Caricasulo taking an unlikely yet incredibly valuable second consecutive win, and an exhausted Mahias was left with no points for his efforts.
British rider Kyle Smith managed to move up to second with this, taking his first podium of the season and the first for a Honda bike, after overtaking De Rosa – who has now strung six consecutive podium finishes together – for third in the late stages of the race.
Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) takes fourth in the final results, a good result for the Swiss rider after a poor start. Hidden beneath all the late drama, Cortese made it to the flag in an incredible fifth position despite that lap two crash and increases his championship lead against all odds.
Hannes Soomer (Racedays) concluded a fantastic weekend for the Estonian with sixth place, ahead of Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) in seventh and Thomas Gradinger (NRT) in eighth, with Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in ninth and Hector Barberà (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) tenth in his WorldSSP debut.
P1 - Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team)
"I am happy about the win, the 25 points are very important for me. But I am very sorry for my team-mate Lucas, he had an incredible race and I think he deserved the victory today, but he was unlucky so I won. I am happy for the championship, now I am completely in the fight for the win, I am happy for the second win this year."
#PortimaoWorldSBK WorldSSP at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve - Race
1. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team)
2. Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) +5.784
3. Rafaelle de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) +6.199
Victory for Caricasulo in dramatic Portimão World Supersport Race
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team rider, Federico Caricasulo, started the second half of the season as he ended the first, with a win in today's dramatic World Supersport race in Portimão, which was red flagged with two laps to go following an incident at turn 11. Alfonso Coppola joined his teammate in Parc Fermé as the best placed European Supersport Cup rider, despite starting the race from pit lane. Lucas Mahias crossed the line at the head of the race on the lap prior to the red flag, but was disqualified from the results for a track limits infraction as he attempted to return to pit lane after a rear tyre failure.
It was series leader Sandro Cortese and his championship rival Jules Cluzel who made the early running at the head of the race, until a collision between the two saw them both go down at turn three on the second lap, leaving Mahias clear at the front of the race.
The only challenge to the French rider came from his GRT Yamaha teammate, Federico Caricasulo, who pushed hard to close the gap to the leader. However the Italian was unable to match the speed and consistency of Mahias, who responded by increasing his lead to close to three seconds before being forced to slow after suffering a rear tyre failure.
Caricasulo inherited the race lead shortly before a crash at turn 11 brought out the red flags and the race was brought to close with 16 of the original 18 laps completed.
With the blistered and deflated rear tyre spinning on the rim, Mahias crashed twice on his in lap, as he fought to return to pit lane within the time limit. Initially the reigning World Champion was credited with the win, but victory was eventually handed to teammate Caricasulo when Mahias was disqualified for cutting the track in the final turn as he returned to pit lane.
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team appealed the disqualification on the basis that the regulations do not specify a rider must return to pit lane via the track following a red flag, but the stewards rejected the appeal.
Today's victory, a career first first back-to-back win for Caricasulo, saw the Italian move up to third place in the championship standings with 129 points, just 20 points behind series leader Cortese with three races remaining. The disqualification means Mahias drops one place in the standings to sixth with 103 points, 46 points from the top spot.
Italian youngster Coppola managed to cap off what had been a difficult weekend with a visit to the podium, finishing today's red flagged curtailed race as the top European Supersport Cup finisher. The result was just reward for Coppola's hard work and commitment throughout the weekend, as he missed most of FP2 due to a technical issue and then was forced to start today's race from pit lane die to exceeding his engine allocation.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 1st
"It was a lucky race today for me. I was strong in the race, as we have been all weekend, but I didn't quite have the pace to close the gap to Lucas, as he was pushing so hard at the front. I was happy with second, the victory was for Lucas, but then he had the problem with the tyre and that allowed me to take the lead. Sometimes it is like this; I have been unlucky in the past and he was unlucky today. I'm sorry for him, but I'm happy for the championship, as I'm a lot closer to the top of the standings now."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - DQ
"I'm very sad about today, because together with my crew I worked so hard to win this race today. I didn't come here to Portimão for a podium finish, I came here to win and put my championship campaign back on track. And we were so close. I felt comfortable pushing in the race once I had the lead, but then the rear tyre failed and I was lucky not to crash. Then I saw the red flag and knew I had to get back to pit lane, but it was difficult with the rear tyre. I crashed twice on the way back because of the deflated rear tyre. At the end of the lap, I cut the last corner because I didn't want to drop fuel or oil on the track after the crashes, and it is this that got me disqualified. Thanks to my team and to Yamaha for their work this weekend, because we showed how strong we were. Now we need to come back even stronger in Magny-Cours."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Junior Team - 18th + 58.113
"Both Friday and Saturday were difficult for me, probably the most difficult days I've had at any race weekend. But this is when it's important to stay strong, to keep calm and to put in the work with the team to find the improvements needed. This is what we did this weekend and it paid off for us. Starting today from pit lane made things more difficult, but I felt strong, my lap times were consistent and I just kept pushing to recuperate positions. In the end I finished P18 and first European Supersport Cup rider and this is important for my confidence looking ahead to the next race in Magny-Cours. Thanks to my team and to Yamaha for their belief in me and their support."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
"Today could have been perfect for us; a one-two in the race and Alfonso finishing as the top European Supersport Cup rider, but it ended instead in drama. Lucas and Federico dominated in the race, as they have done all weekend, and for Lucas to be disqualified after the red flag and the incredible effort he made to return to pit lane within the time limit is incredibly frustrating. The rules are unclear, which is why we appealed the disqualification, but the stewards rejected this appeal and we have to accept that. This takes nothing away from Federico, who also rode a flawless race today to take his first ever back-to-back win. It was an important result, as it moves him up to third in the championship and just 20 points from the top of the standings. With three races remaining, he now has every chance of overhauling Sandro Cortese in the fight for the title. Congratulations also to Alfonso, who overcame a lot of difficulties this weekend and put in a fantastic performance in the race today. He had to start from pit lane, which is never ideal, but he put his head down and rode superbly to finish as the best of the European Supersport Cup riders, so well done to him. Thanks also to the team for their hard work this weekend and to Yamaha for their support. Together we showed just how strong our partnership is this weekend in Portimão."
Smith clinches first podium of the season
Posted on 16th September 2018
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Kyle Smith claimed his first podium of the season and gave Honda its first World Supersport podium of 2018 with a superb ride to second place in today’s incident filled race at Portimão in Portugal.
Smith got a great start from the third row of the grid and was looking on course to achieve his objective of a top five finish. After Smith had caught and overtaken De Rosa for third in the latter stages of the race, leader Mahias was apparently out with a puncture and the race was red-flagged when Hartog and Quero Martinez crashed together at turn 11. In accordance with the rules this moved Smith up to second position.
Smith said: “I’m really happy to be back on the podium. I was a little bit fortunate with a couple of guys going down although besides that the pace was good, I felt strong. I managed to catch De Rosa and once I was behind him I felt comfortable. I managed to pass him and I felt confident so it’s a step in the right direction and hopefully we can keep fighting up front.”
Teammate Peter Sebestyen’s second outing with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda ended prematurely when he made a small mistake at turn one losing the front putting him out of the race with eleven laps to go.
Sebestyen said: “So the main problem for me is Superpole, I have to put together one fast lap. I have to improve this. My race pace is good enough to score points and to be in the top ten but from 17th this is not easy. My start was not so bad but it could be better. I was fighting with Hartog and just when I passed him I made a mistake and my speed in the corner was too much. It was my fault but next time I have to improve my fast lap.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “A great race for Kyle and us as a team. Genuine top five placing. You can say there was some good fortune but we’ve had bad luck, people have bad luck and he rode a great race. If we look at all the sectors of the race for everybody, he was fastest in three of the four sectors so he had genuine race pace. It’s a real boost for the team to get this podium with 2nd in the race. I’d like to say thank you to MecTronik for the great steps we’ve made this week with the new system and there’s more to come. For those people who feel it is a Yamaha cup, it isn’t. We are using these races as development for next year, we will be there next year with a strong package and challenging at the front. Congratulations to Stu and George and everybody in the team for the great work we do, it’s a reward for all the hard work we put in.”
“Peter as we thought had the pace to be in the points, he was in the points. Hartog was hard for him to overtake and he got into turn one and probably got a little impatient. He lost the front and crashed out and didn’t capitalise on his opportunity to actually get points. He sees the pace is there, he is confident in CIA Landlord Insurance Honda and our package to be able to show what he can do. We are looking forward as a team to Magny Cours. Let’s see what we can do in the rest of the season, I can’t wait for it.”
KRUMMENACHER FINISHES FOURTH AT PORTIMAO, SCORING IMPORTANT POINTS FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Portimao (Portugal), 16 September 2018
Round nine of the Supersport world championship has concluded at the International Algarve Circuit in the south of Portugal.
At 1.45 pm local time, under clear skies and with temperatures of roughly 31°C, the lights went out, marking the start of an action-packed race. During the second lap, Frenchman Jules Cluzel retired after a crash resulting from contact with German rider Sandro Cortese.
Krummenacher, who started sixth on the grid, moved into fifth on the second lap, a position he retained all the way to the line. During lap seventeen, Lucas Mahias, the race leader at that point, was forced to retire when his rear tyre burst. A few seconds later the red flag came out when two riders crashed further down the field. As per the regulation, the race, which should have been 18 laps long, should have been called according to the positions riders held on the previous lap but Mahias received a penalty which saw him excluded from the final result. Krummenacher thus finished fourth, once again scoring important points for the championship. The Bardahl Evan Bros. rider lies fourth in the standings, with the same points as the third-placed rider and just 4 points from second, 20 points from first.
The championship is still wide open, with four riders all within twenty points of each other. The final three rounds, to take place at Magny-Cours (France), San Juan (Argentina) and Doha (Qatar), will undoubtedly be hard-fought.
Krummenacher, who admits he is struggling to find the right feeling with the bike, remains positive and confident though he knows he needs to work hard with the team to find solutions that can help him to ride more effectively and score better results.
RK21: “I’m definitely pleased with the important points and I’m now fourth in the standings but just a few points from second, with the same points as the third-placed rider. It wasn’t an easy race, I struggled with the bike which didn’t give me the right feeling, so I couldn’t give it my all. At times I felt I was battling with the bike rather than with my rivals. This happens, this is racing, and you can’t always have maximum potential. We need to work to find solutions that will allow me to complete three good final races. I thank my team, the guys always work very hard and are very professional in all circumstances.”
Top Ten For Okubo And Barbera
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Hikari Okubo and Hector Barbera secured ninth and tenth places respectively in the WorldSSP Championship race at Portimao. One-off rider for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, Kengo Nagao, was 17th today.
In warm and sunny conditions the dramatic race was finally decided over only 16 laps, not the planned 18, after a crash and then a red flag incident brought the race to a premature finish.
Conditions determined much on raceday, even for the experienced riders, as the air temperatures rose to 28°C and the track temperatures hit 40°C.
Once again Okubo scored good points and he is 15th overall in the rankings with three rounds to go.
With everything from his machine to the track and tyres new for Barbera, the former MotoGP rider worked well to understand the conditions at a unique circuit with huge changes of elevation.
This was Barbera’s first experience of this class and this circuit, making his top ten finish a very positive introduction to this category of racing. Hector felt he could have made a better tyre choice with more track time at his disposal.
The tenth round of WorldSSP will take place in France, at Magny Cours, with raceday on Sunday the 30th of September.
Hikari Okubo, stated: “The race was very hot causing many crashes and technical problems. I also had some front end issues, as the bike experienced some chattering. After a few laps I also began to feel a bit tired and lost energy from my body. I tried to stay with the group but it was sliding a lot, especially in the final laps. I had to settle for ninth position. If I had a better feeling I could have pushed harder and got more out of the race. Today we collected very useful data and now we will try out best in the next few races.”
Hector Barbera, stated: “A difficult race for me because this track is new. The tyres are new for me as well and I selected the hard tyre, which I think was my mistake because I have a better feeling with the soft one right now. After FP2 it was not possible to try it because we had a technical issue. That practice was held at the same time of day as the race so it was necessary to try the tyre then, but it was not possible. I went with the hard one and my feeling in the front all race was not good. But it is my first race and with everything so new, a top ten is not bad, but I think it is possible to have finished fifth, sixth or seventh today.”
Local wild card rider Miquel Pons (H43 Nobby Denso Kawasaki) was 12th, and Christian Stange (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) also scored points in 14th place.
Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) finished 16th. Only 18 riders finished from the 28 riders who started.
Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer) was excluded from the results after a collision with another rider that caused the red flag. He is 14th overall in the general WorldSSP championship standings.
Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM) and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) did not finish the race.
WorldSSP300: Deroue stuns with victory of the year as Carrasco struggles
Championship blown wide open in penultimate race of the season
Dutchman Deroue was back on top after a year away
If the stakes were high here at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, they just increased tenfold for Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) was able to win his first FIM Supersport 300 World Championship race since Assen 2017 and moves to just ten points behind championship leader Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team), who couldn’t finish higher than tenth. Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkingGO Team) and Manuel Gonzalez (BCD Pertamina Junior Team by MS Racing) completed the podium at Portimao in second and third, respectively.
As usual this was a tight, electric affair in WorldSSP300, with the front riders on the grid keeping strong and battling it out from the early stages. Deroue picked his way through the front after a slow start, moving to P1 and taking a controlled lead, but never quite pulling away, while an army of Spanish riders behind pushed through around Portimao, including Perez, Gonzalez, Daniel Valle (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) and Maria Herrera (BCD Yamaha MS Racing), who was close to securing her first WorldSSP300 podium before a technical issue forced her out with one lap remaining.
None of these was the championship leader however, who struggled at Portimao one year on from her famous first race win. Carrasco fell to 17th at the start and could only make it to 11th at the flag – eventually 10th, after Borja Sánchez (ETG Racing) was handed a post race penalty due to irresponsible riding. She makes her way to Magny-Cours now with up to three other riders threatening her title chase: Deroue, Perez and Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), who crashed at Portimao.
The returning Robert Schotman (Motoport KawasakI) finished an impressive fourth at Portimao, ahead of Enzo De La Vega (GP Project Team) in fifth and the polesitter Tom Edwards (Nutec-Benjan-Kawasaki) in sixth, his best WorldSSP300 result. Valle was seventh, with wildcard Ferran Hernandez Moyano (Kawasaki PALMETO PL Racing) in eighth and Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) ninth.
Who will leave Magny-Cours as the second WorldSSP300 champion? Find out from 28-30 September as the circus heads to France for the final installment of a thriller.
P1 - Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki)
"I am really happy with this win, we have worked so hard from the beginning of the year. We worked hard in our tests and everytime in the race it hasn't happened and now finally it happened. So a big thanks to the team and to Kawasaki who helped me to do this."
#PortimaoWorldSBK WorldSSP300 at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve - Race
1. Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki)
2. Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) +1.243
3. Manuel Gonzalez (Pertamina Almeria BCD Junior Team by MS) +1.364
Deroue Win Sets Up Epic Championship Finale
On the day that Kawasaki won the WorldSSP300 Manufacturers’ Championship a brilliant race from Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) saw him take his first victory of the 2018 season and draw himself to within 10 points of the championship leader Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team Kawasaki). Ana finished tenth today, while Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) secured second place at Portimao on his Ninja 400.
The penultimate round of the championship provided another thrilling and intense WorldSSP300 race but the sheer pace of would-be champion Deroue finally won it by 1.243 seconds, from fellow Ninja rider Perez.
With the top six riders covered by just 1.598 seconds, five of them were on Kawasaki machines. With one round to go Kawasaki cannot be caught in the Manufacturers’ Championship standings, with an advantage of 56 points over the nearest competitor.
Just off the podium Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) was fourth, with Enzo De La Vega (GP Project Team Kawasaki) and Tom Edwards (Nutec - Benjan Kawasaki) just behind.
No fewer than eight of the top ten riders today were on Kawasaki machinery, including Carrasco in tenth, and her team-mate Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) one place ahead in ninth.
In the current championship standings Carrasco leads Deroue by 90 points to 80, with Perez third on 72 points. Such is the close competition in this championship that no fewer than four riders could still be crowned champion at the final round in France in two week’s time.
With Deroue’s win today, the Ninja 400 has topped four races so far, thanks three different riders.
The final round of the championship, which is guaranteed to be a tense affair, takes place at Magny Cours in France on Sunday the 30th of September.
Scott Deroue, stated: “I am really happy to have won this race because we have worked so hard, from the first test at the beginning of the year and every time in the race weekends. So far the win did not happen but this time it happened! Many thanks to Kawasaki, the team and everybody who helped me do this today.”
Mika Perez, stated: “It was a really difficult race and to come from tenth position was difficult here. Our bike was incredible today and the team did a great job. We are third in the championship now and it is very close.”