Latest World Superbike Results
The rains visited Portugal in the morning and the Superstock 1000 race was pushed back to late afternoon. Race one was run as a wet race and all but one rider started with full wet tyres.
As teams announce new lineups and new tracks are added to the 2013 calendar this weekend, one could easily be forgiven for thinking the 2012 season has finished. With two races to go, and one hundred points still up for grabs, nothing could be further than the truth.
World Supersport qualifying at the penultimate round, Portimao.
Superpole was dry at Portimao, even though rain has been slated as a possibility for tomorrow.
Max Biaggi once again holds off Tom Sykes to set the fastest time of the session. Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri swap places from this morning's session and Carlos Checa breaks into the top eight. As the Superpole places were decided this morning, most riders would have used this session for setup and tyre tests, but Melandri should start getting worried about Biaggi retaining the title lead about now.
Jules Cluzel didn't manage to match Sam Lowes's time from yesterday, but neither did Lowes. Cluzel improved his own time though, while Broc Parkes sat three hundredths of a second behind him on the timing sheet. Parkes was almost a tenth ahead of Lowes, with the Kawasakis of Fabien Foret and Sheridan Morais behind them.
Title leader Kenan Sofuoglu was tenth fastest this morning, but will likely improve significantly on that in qualifying this afternoon.
Championship leader Max Biaggi sits on provisional pole, ahead of this afternoon's Superpole, having run a late fast lap that Tom Sykes could not beat. The BMWs of Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam fill out the remainder of the provisional front row, while the team mates of the top two, Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz, head the provisional second row. Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier take seventh and eighth, locking all the Ducatis out of the front two rows.
John Hopkins misses out on Superpole, while the mustachioed Canadian rookie Brett McCormick, fresh from scoring his first World Championship point and recovering from a broken neck, sneaks into 16th place.
Biaggi's performance shows that he's still very much in the fight for his second Superbike title.
In what might be the last World Superbike weekend at Portimao for a few years, the World Supersport championship could be decided on Sunday, while the World Superbike title will likely be decided on the last race of the year, in a fortnight's time.
Marco Melandri, winner in race two last year, set a time on race tyres that was faster than his best race lap last year, over a third of a second ahead of Eugene Laverty, who was second in race two last year. Tom Sykes, this year's king of qualifying, was quicker than last year's pole-man Jonathan Rea, adjusting back to his Honda Fireblade fresh from his MotoGP ride on Casey Stoner's bike.
The top eight were all within a second, with Melandri being the only rider to beat Carlos Checa's 2011 QP1 time of 1'43.579.
Sam Lowes swaps top places from this morning with fellow PTR rider Jules Cluzel as the two maintain their dominance.
Tom Sykes set an early target for the rest of the pack to reach, with Three BMWs and the Suzuki of Leon Camier eventually getting to within two-tenths of a second. It looks like another Tissot is on the cards for the Kawasaki man, with the championship leader Marco Melandri getting on terms with the track early.
In sun-kissed Portugal, Jules Cluzel opens the penultimate World Supersport weekend with almost a half-second lead over fellow PTR rider Sam Lowes.
The Nürburgring gave us an exciting weekend of surprises, twists and turns. Hopes were raised then dashed. Dreams were broken and made true. The championship looked to be going in one direction then another.
With as many thrills and spills as race one, the second race brought an unexpected finish and championship consequences.
In a race that would be vital for the championship, a fast pace was set by the race leader, ensuring that there would be few overtakes in the earlier stages, and that the fast men left the slow far behind.