Latest World Superbike Results
The track temperature climbed to 42ºC, something the Aprilias were looking forward to, but Jonathan Rea changed to the same tyre as everyone else and for some reason, Misano seems to produce double winners.
Kenan Sofuoglu leads the championship by 40 points going into this race, with only four rounds left after this weekend, but MV Agusta turned up with a new paint job so who knows how Jules Cluzel's fortune can change?
A smattering of clouds over a 32ºC track, with a 22ºC air temperature, a 21 lap race at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” took place on fresh tarmac and recambered turns. All but Jonathan Rea had softer A compound rear tyres with Rea taking a harder B tyre.
With PJ Jacobsen being the cat amongst the pigeons of Kenan Sofuoglu and Jules Cluzel, the front row appeared to be easy to predict, even if the order were not.
As the weather was good, in spite of overnight rain, and the resurfaced track offered better grip than before, the likelihood of the pole position lap record surviving was considered low.
In the first session not headed by an Aprilia, Davide Giugliano puts his Ducati on top to maintain Italian manufacturer dominance. Leon Haslam was quickest in the untimed session with Jonathan Rea third ahead of Max Biaggi. Tom Sykes, sixth behind Michael van der Mark, showed the kind of form needed to elevate hin to Superpole two.
Enjoying his switch to Honda, PJ Jacobsen hit within four hundredths of a second of the outright fastest lap, ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu and Jules Cluzel. Kyle Smith, Gino Rea and Lorenzo Zanetti all maintain their top-6 pace as the provisional second row.
Jordi Torres was quickest this morning, ahead of Jonathan Rea who set the pace at the beginning of the session. While Torres approached the lap record, Max Biaggi, dominant yesterday, was unable to match his time from yesterday, over half a second further back in eighth place, in spite of still being the fastest bike in a straight line. Leon Haslam was third quickest, while Alex Lowes was the only other rider on a Japanese bike, with Jonathan Rea's Kawasaki, in the top nine as Chaz Davies, Michele Pirro and Davide Giugliano held the next three spots ahead of Biaggi and Matteo Baiocco.
Tom Sykes was also unable to match his quickest time from yesterday and will have to compete in Superpole One for one of the two promotion slots, something with which he and his team are unfamilar.
Max Biaggi was again quickest but this time had to fight off Davide Giugliano to retain the fastest time by a quarter of a second. The six times world champion, with four 250cc titles and two World Superbike titles, Biaggi may have been given a fast Aprilia with which to race this weekend, but his wildcard comeback performance is still impressive as no matter how fast a bike you have, as the adage goes, you still have to ride it.
Chaz Davies was third quickest behind his Ducati teammate Giugliano, with Leon Haslam on the Red Devils Aprilia fending off the Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. The top eleven riders were all within three quarters of a second with Markus Reiterberger 0.806 off the fastest time, twelfth quickest.
PJ Jacobsen and Jules CLuzel both posted a 1'38.569, eight tenths of e second quicker than Kenan Sofuoglu and within thirteen hundredths of the qualifying record here. Kyle Smith and Gino Rea held off Lorenzo Zanetti over half a second further back.
Max Biaggi, inspired by Troy Bayliss, returned to World Superbike this weekend and set the fastest time in the opening session as a wildcard on an Aprilia. As the fourth former World Superbike champion to compete this year, he was expected to match Bayliss's performance and instead dominated the session ahead of Chaz Davies, the only man able to better him at any point in the session, and Jonathan Rea, runaway championship leader. Biaggi led the field by over four tenths of a second.
Wildcard Markus Reiterberger was fourth quickest on a BMW. Reiterberger is the 2013 IDM (the International German Superbike championship) champion and current German championship leader.
Kenan Sofuoglu set the quickest time ahead of Kyle Smith and Lorenzo Zanetti. Sofuoglu's best time was within six tenths of the fastest time around this track, set in 2010 by Michele Pirro.
The majority of the World Superbike field stayed on at Portimao for an official one-day test at the Portuguese circuit, taking advantage of the limited testing opportunities the WSBK riders have this year. Ducati's Davide Giugliano leaves the test as quickest, putting in a very quick lap at the very end of testing to finish three tenths ahead of yesterday's double race winner Jonathan Rea. Rea kept just ahead of his Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes, while Leon Haslam set the fourth quickest time on the Aprilia.
The Suzuki team made good use of much-needed test time to work on setting up the electronics. Improvements were clearly visible: Alex Lowes ended the day 5th quickest, but more importantly, was around a second faster than during the races yesterday. Teammate Randy De Puniet set the 14th best time, but was also three quarters of a second quicker than he was on Sunday.
The first race of the second half of the season, number fourteen of twenty-six, would not suffer from the bad weather that caused drama in the opening race.
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.