Both men having won here before, and the weather having dried up, the battle between Jules Cluzel and Kenan Sofuoglu would continue unabated for 18 laps at the Algarve Circuit. Sofuoglu would be hunting a record-breaking fifth win in a row, while Cluzel would just be looking to get his title challenge back on track.
Jules Cluzel took the lead from pole position into turn one, joined by Kyle Smith and PJ Jacobsen who pushed Kenan Sofuoglu to fourth place. Jacobsen and Sofuoglu wasted no time in passing Kyle Smith and Jacobsen briefly led the race, but Cluzel took it back and at third race distance, Sofuoglu pushed into second place behind Cluzel and the scene was set.
Two thirds of the way through, Kenan Sofuoglu took the lead from Jules Cluzel the same lap Gino Rea took fourth from Kyle Smith with PJ Jacobsen seven seconds behind Cluzel but over a second clear of Rea in third place.
Sofuoglu would hold the lead, with Cluzel making a mistake over the brow of the hill, the light MV Agusta throwing the front wheel into a tank slapper as the suspension unloaded at the crest, but Cluzel recovered it and wasted no time making up for the small gap he gave Sofuoglu.
At the beginning of the penultimate lap, Cluzel tried to pass Sofuoglu on the straight but the Kawasaki rider was smart on the brakes and cemented the lead into turn one. The lap later, though, Cluzel timed his slipstreaming perfectly, slotting in behind Sofuoglu with the right amount of drive to pull out at the ideal moment to guarantee the lead into turn one. His braking was also well timed and he held the turn, but Sofuoglu wasn't done yet. Forcing past Cluzel, he took the lead back only to have Cluzel push past in a reciprocal move, no love lost between the rivals.
Cluzel held off Sofuoglu and maintained his lead right to the flag, finishing the race cleanly, less than two tenths from Sofuoglu. PJ Jacobsen completed his first full race distance on the Honda in third place, with his second podium of the year.
While Jules Cluzel did keep Kenan Sofuoglu from his fifth win in a row, he is now forty points behind the championship leader with only five races left. As long as Sofuoglu can keep getting second places, the title is still well within his grasp.
|1||16||J. CLUZEL||MV Agusta F3 675||1'45.552||275,5|
|2||54||K. SOFUOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-6R||0.184||1'45.411||276,9|
|3||99||P. JACOBSEN||Honda CBR600RR||7.597||1'45.791||274,1|
|4||4||G. REA||Honda CBR600RR||8.369||1'46.133||272,7|
|5||87||L. ZANETTI||MV Agusta F3 675||12.451||1'46.325||278,4|
|6||111||K. SMITH||Honda CBR600RR||13.059||1'46.062||273,4|
|7||11||C. GAMARINO||Kawasaki ZX-6R||19.976||1'46.531||274,1|
|8||44||R. ROLFO||Honda CBR600RR||20.355||1'46.838||272,7|
|9||36||M. CARDENAS||Honda CBR600RR||32.141||1'47.259||272,7|
|10||61||F. MENGHI||Yamaha YZF R6||35.078||1'47.322||276,2|
|11||24||M. RAMIREZ||Honda CBR600RR||35.089||1'47.413||271,4|
|12||5||M. FACCANI||Kawasaki ZX-6R||35.295||1'47.306||275,5|
|13||68||G. SCOTT||Honda CBR600RR||36.058||1'47.455||275,5|
|14||6||D. SCHMITTER||Kawasaki ZX-6R||59.859||1'47.839||271,4|
|15||117||M. PRAIA||Honda CBR600RR||1'02.567||1'48.704||271,4|
|16||10||N. CALERO||Honda CBR600RR||1'18.363||1'49.579||269,3|