Jonathan Rea (KRT) won both Sunday WorldSBK races in Portugal to take the championship lead for the first time in 2020 and lift his total of race win this year to five. Alex Lowes (KRT) was fourth in the Tissot Superpole race and then a non-finisher in the 20-lap finale to the weekend’s hot and intense action at Portimao.
It was a perfect WorldSBK weekend for Rea at what is now his statistically strongest circuit. Three race wins saw him take his personal race-winning total to 12 at Portimao. With more podium finishes overall than even at Assen, where he has also won 12 times, the Algarve circuit is now Jonathan’s most rewarding track.
The five-time world champion also scored the fastest lap in each race and was fastest qualifier in Tissot-Superpole on Saturday.
Entering the third round of the championship this weekend some 24 points behind the lead, Jonathan now leaves it four points in front.
A clear win by almost three seconds in Sunday’s early 10-lap sprint race allowed Rea an ideal starting position for the second 20-lap race in the afternoon. He once more raced his pit board from the front of the pack and eased out to win by 4.3 seconds in the weekend finale.
A determined and consistent fourth in the Tissot-Superpole sprint race, Lowes was unfortunate to fall at turn five on lap eight of the longer contest, riding back to the pits to eventually retire.
After a dramatic turnaround in fortunes at the top of the championship this weekend Rea has 136 points, Redding 132, Razgatlioglu 103, Lowes 95 and Michael van der Mark 82.
The next round will be the first of two back-to-back race weekends at the magnificently appointed Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain, with the first of them taking place between 28-30 August.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “That was a perfect weekend. The fastest laps, pole position and three race wins. I do not think it was the result, but it was the way that we made the result this weekend. I could really enjoy the bike. It is strange, because sometimes fighting for a sixth place, like we did in Jerez last time, feels like I was riding 100%. Giving everything to finish sixth. This weekend I could do whatever I wanted and kept increasing the gap at the front. It is an incredible feeling as a rider. I knew Portimao was going to be a good track, and I was talking myself into a good result, but we did not come here in the winter tests so I knew it could also be a difficult weekend. I did not start well on Friday in FP1, but we were able to just work calmly together and understand the bike.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “It was a shame in race two because I am really sad to have crashed out of that podium fight. After two fourth places it would have been really nice to finish the weekend off with a podium finish. That was not the case. I am not sure what I did wrong, really. The track was getting hot and slippy, and I just lost the front of the bike. Every weekend I am learning more, learning more about the bike, and these conditions were a little bit different again. I am going to focus on the test we have got coming at Aragon soon, improving a few areas of the bike set-up - and myself riding the bike - and I look forward to the races we will have in Aragon in a few weeks’ time. Apart from the last race it was a pretty solid weekend in Portugal.”
In race two Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) crashed when another rider and he collided on lap 16 and he left Portugal 16th overall in the championship, with 14 points in all. Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) had two non-finishes today and is 18th overall. Series regular Sandro Cortese (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) underwent a successful operation on his T7 vertebra overnight, after a heavy crash in race one on Saturday.