2014 Portimão World Superbike Race Two Results: Umbrella Weather

With rain pouring from the sky, the umbrellas were put to their proper use. Along with wet-weather tyres, everyone softened their springs, reduced their damping, put on the double-wide knee sliders and slotted clear visors in their helmets. The race was reduced to eighteen laps and everyone got wet.

Jonathan Rea led Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies into turn one with Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli behind them. Rea made use of the clear, spray-free track to gain a second a lap for the first few laps as Sykes built a lead from Davies, but Davies would be passed by Guintoli and Melandri as the Aprilias made a formation charge to catch Sykes.

On lap eight, Marco Melandri, having passed Sylvain Guintoli earlier, caught and passed Tom Sykes and Guintoli would waste no time despatching him as well, followed shortly after by Davide Giugliano. Sykes struggled to keep pace with the three men ahead of him, as Melandri closed in on Rea, cutting his lead from over four seconds to nothing in five laps.

On the thirteenth lap, Jonathan Rea, Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli were together, over eight seconds ahead of Davide Giugliano, with the Aprilias determined to pass Rea's Honda as they were a second a lap faster and carrying the pace with them. Guintoli closed the gap to Melandri and tried to make a pass when Melandri left enough of a gap for Guintoli, with his eyes on the win and the title chase, to slide a wet bike into a tight gap, but Melandri just kept his line and leaned on his teammate, which put both bikes down. Guintoli's move separated both riders from their bikes and handed Rea a comfortable eight second lead with five laps to manage it to the flag.

In second place, Davide Giugliano saw the action unfold ahead of him and matched Jonathan Rea's rhythm while Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes duked it out to give him some breathing room behind. Tom Sykes dropped back through the field as he hit his limits, letting riders pass him, including Sylvain Guintoli taking seventh off him at the end of the race, in spite of having to pick his bike up from the tarmac earlier.

With the top two places secured, the third step was all that needed settling, and that was decided from a scrap between Chas Davies, Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam, with Davies taking the spoils after deciding that it was "podium or bin it" on the last lap.

Tom Sykes lost a point to Sylvain Guintoli, reducing his lead to forty-three points, but Jonathan Rea's victory put him within six points of Guintoli in second place and one point of Loris Baz in third.

Sylvain Barrier took the Evo victory, in spite of finishing three places behind Ayrton Badovini, still suffering from a lack of Homologation.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap Best Lap Speed
1 65 J. REA Honda CBR1000RR   1'55.703 275,5
2 34 D. GIUGLIANO Ducati 1199 Panigale R 6.817 1'55.131 267,3
3 7 C. DAVIES Ducati 1199 Panigale R 8.676 1'54.118 278,4
4 22 A. LOWES Suzuki GSX-R1000 9.740 1'54.766 276,2
5 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000RR 11.289 1'55.468 264,1
6 76 L. BAZ Kawasaki ZX-10R 11.808 1'55.244 281,3
7 50 S. GUINTOLI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 14.169 1'54.303 272,7
8 1 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 17.164 1'56.412 275,5
9 58 E. LAVERTY Suzuki GSX-R1000 26.406 1'54.950 264,7
10 24 T. ELIAS Aprilia RSV4 Factory 30.168 1'55.764 274,1
11 52 S. BARRIER BMW S1000 RR EVO 41.820 1'56.143 274,8
12 32 S. MORAIS Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 47.434 1'56.255 260,2
13 11 J. GUARNONI Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 50.045 1'56.233 261,5
14 67 B. STARING Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'17.436 1'58.951 253,5
15 48 R. RUSSO Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'24.500 1'57.558 260,9
16 21 A. ANDREOZZI Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'30.563 1'57.458 268,7
17 44 D. SALOM Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'34.242 1'58.875 250,6
18 59 N. CANEPA Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO 1'34.647 1'58.605 255,3
19 16 G. RIZMAYER BMW S1000 RR 1'47.422 1'58.737 264,7
RET 33 M. MELANDRI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 6 Laps 1'54.514 267,3
RET 99 G. MAY EBR 1190 RX 12 Laps 2'04.121 235,8
STH 86 A. BADOVINI Bimota BB3 EVO 26.263 1'55.505 267,3
STH 2 C. IDDON Bimota BB3 EVO 33.831 1'56.000 279,1

 

Round Number: 
8
2014
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Comments

The races today highlighted a contemporary truth that remains tricky for me to understand.

The Honda repeatedly complain, not of a lack of power but problems with electronics (although power is seemingly down too). I wonder if you have any insights as to why this remains their issue despite asserting this would be their number one priority for each of the last 3 seasons. I read this year and last they were getting an highly advanced system based on Honda's MotoGP system but their results have yet to improve, not withstanding the fact Johnathan Rea is the rider with the second most wins.

The Aprilia remains a rocket ship that the others, even Kawasaki cannot manage. Watching (in race 1, I believe) Loris Baz exit the final turn right on the tail of Melandri's Aprilia yet get left behind. despite the slipstream was salutary indeed.

I didn't see the race but read elsewhere that Guintoli took Melandri out (somebody finally gets paid out by Haslam!). It's a detail, but which is correct?

Guintoli says he hit a bump that caused him to lose the front, but it looked more like he made a mistake that Melandri exacerbated. 

guintoli had the pace & the time to make a clean pass elsewhere.

I think Jared got it right in the article when he suggested that Guinters was in full 'title hunt' mode. Steve Martin's commentary was also on the money, he said Guintoli was committed to his line from well before when he showed Melandri a wheel, but Melandri wasn't to know that... ergo, a racing incident.

Melandri was flying, I don't think you could call it a given that Guintoli would have been able to pass him later in the race.

All of it is good for the title chase! Three riders are the best part of two race wins behind Sykes, but there's still 250 points available before it's done and dusted. Sykes only needs one DNF to close it up again...