WSBK

Jonathan Rea Continues 2015 Superbike Rampage at Portimao

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Jonathan Rea continued on his 2015 charge, taking the Portimao world superbike double, and bringing his haul to an impressive ten wins from 14 races for the season.

After 20 action packed laps, that saw the first flag to flag race of 2015 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) has taken his 9th victory of the season in the opening race of the day at Portimao, coming home 9.384s ahead of team mate Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing ‰ÛÒ Ducati Team) who completed the podium.

For the first 14 laps the Kawasaki pair were playing a game of cat and mouse until with 6 laps to go the rain began to fall. All but Sykes came in to change to wet tyres with Sykes following suit the following lap. The duo fought it out until Sykes made a mistake allowing Rea to notch up his 24th career win.

Sykes finished 2nd ahead of Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing ‰ÛÒ Ducati SBK Team) who completed the podium after a titanic fight with Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team ‰ÛÒ Red Devils) in the early stages.

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing ‰ÛÒ Ducati SBK Team) was 4th with Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing) 5th and 6th respectively.

Ayrton Badovini brought the BMW Motorrad Italia entry home in 7th ahead of Leandro Mercado who experienced his first ever flag to flag race on the Barni Racing Ducati.

Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) recovered to 9th after an off track excursion ahead of 10th placed Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) who also ran off track before the rain fell.

Jordi Torres was the first of the factory Aprilia riders in 11th, the WorldSBK rookie just beating team mate Leon Haslam who fell and re-joined on his first lap after changing to wet tyres.

Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), David Salom (Team Pedercini) and Nico Terol (Althea Racing) completed the point scorers.

The conditions for the afternoon‰Ûªs second WorldSBK race at Portimao were almost perfect as the earlier rain had disappeared meaning a full 20 lap encounter on a dry circuit, won in the end by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), the 10th win of 2015 for the championship leader by 5.416s.

Rea‰Ûªs double win moves him into 3rd overall in terms of most consecutive podium finishes (15), ahead of Carl Fogarty who has 13.

As in the first encounter, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) initially led before being passed by team mate Jonathan Rea and Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing ‰ÛÒ Ducati SBK Team), the trio pulling clear of the pack as their pace at the front increased.

As the race continued Rea began to stretch a lead, leaving Sykes and Giugliano to fight for 2nd until the former champion‰Ûªs ZX10R suffered what looked like a technical problem. The former champion would eventually finish 8th.

Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team ‰ÛÒ Red Devils) took full advantage of the situation to take 3rd, his first podium since Aragon race 2.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing ‰ÛÒ Ducati SBK Team) finished 4th to score more solid points ahead of the Pata Honda pairing of Michael van der Mark who got the better of reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli on the final lap who rounded out the top 6.

Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team ‰ÛÒ Red Devils) scored 9 points with his 7th place finish ahead of Sykes, Leandro Mercado who was in the top ten once again on his Barni Ducati (9th) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing).

11th to 15th positions were taken by Roman Ramos (Team GO Eleven), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini) and Nico Terol (Althea Racing).

‰ÛÏI have a great bike, a great team around me and great strategy for every weekend." Rea stated. "My crew chief Pere and I sit down and work out a good set-up, evaluating our tyres.

"We learned from some mistakes in Donington that made us stronger here and I am riding well, but I have the tools to do it. So it is massive credit to all my mechanics for working so hard and KHI in Japan, who are continuing to develop.

"We know now where the limit is and we rode two good races today. The points gap is a lot after this round but I will try not change the way I am riding.‰Û

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