Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team
Jonathan Rea (KRT) left the Portimao round of the championship with two race wins and a second place finish to extend his championship lead. Leon Haslam (KRT) was fifth in both Sunday races while Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) took a podium finish of third in Race Two today.
After his win in Race One on Saturday Rea got today’s action off to another victorious start. In the ten-lap Tissot Superpole race Rea enjoyed a start-to-finish win, with his championship rival Alvaro Bautista eventually second.
Rea’s pole position was turned into an immediate advantage as he pushed on remorselessly to take the victory and a new lap record of 1’41.272.
Haslam was fifth in the Tissot Superpole race, with Razgatlioglu one place ahead in fourth.
In Race Two a five-rider group contested the early lead in the final WorldSBK race of the hot Portimao weekend, with Rea leading Razgatlioglu and Haslam for the first four laps. Eventual race winner Alvaro Bautista took the lead on lap six and looked set to run out the clear winner for a time.
Rea’s good machine set-up and battling qualities saw him trim Bautista’s advantage and then cut it to only 0.111 seconds over the line with a final attempt to secure all the Portimao wins. Rea took two wins from three in Portugal and extended his championship lead to 91 points over Bautista.
In the final race Razgatlioglu rode to an eventually lonely third place, for his eighth podium of the season. Haslam was not far behind; making it a hat trick of fifth place finishes at this round. In the points Leon is fifth overall and Toprak sixth, with three rounds remaining on the calendar.
The next round will be held between 27th and 29th of September in Magny Cours, France.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I felt strong with the bike. I was pushing in Race Two and where Alvaro was gaining time on the front straight and the top straight, coming out of T5 I almost felt that he was increasing the gap. But when we went into T14 I had already eaten up that advantage he had in the first sector. It was enough motivation to keep pushing. He was making a few mistakes and it was enough for me to keep the pressure on. You never know what can happen and I could see the gap to Toprak was increasing in those last six laps. Yesterday I ate too much tyre in the beginning but today on lap 19 I could set a 1’43.2. I enjoyed that final race; we had a fight. I am proud of myself because I had fight in me.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “It was a good fight in the final race and I felt I should have got Alex Lowes, as I had more grip than him at the end. That said, from half distance I sort of lost the front grip on the right side, a little bit but I felt comfortable behind Johnny and Toprak. After about nine laps I lost my advantage with the front so I dropped off the pace quite a lot which put me in a battle with Alex. I was managing the front but I got in a bit of a scuffle with van der Mark, which lost me the tow. I managed to bridge that gap quite quickly but I was suffering just to get the thing to stop. I tried to pass several times into turn one. We made a lot of steps for that race with the bike balance but I am a little bit disappointed because I felt again we had the pace to go with the podium guys, especially in the first half, but just a few little niggles and mistakes just knocked me out of it. My pace in the Superpole race should have got me a better result.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) scored fourth and then third place finishes today. He is ranked sixth overall, six points behind Leon and 19 points ahead of the rider in seventh place. He is still the top independent rider in the championship-within-a-championship, by a comfortable margin of 70 points.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, stated: “This morning we tried a new and different electronics set-up, which gave me a good feeling. In the short race it was important to get a good starting position for the final long race, so fourth position was not bad. In the final race I followed Johnny and Bautista and after ten laps the tyre had a big drop. I know all the riders had the same but I am happy because again I got on the podium.”
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 12th and then 11th today fighting all the way but unable to find the chassis set-up to allow him to race fast over the entire race distance. Jordi remains 12th overall. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) missed out on a point in the Tissot–Superpole race by one place, but scored 15th for a single championship point in Race Two.
2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
2019: Races 28, Wins 11, Podiums 25, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 82 (67 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 159 (117 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 21 (17 for Kawasaki)
2019: Races: 28, Wins 0, Podiums 6, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 45 (7 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki)
6 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
4 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)
4 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 138 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 419 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 86 – second overall