Courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation
Takumi Takahashi crossed the line in fifteenth place in today’s first Superbike race at the challenging Algarve International Circuit Portimao. It initially took the Japanese a little time to get into his rhythm but after a few laps, he began to steadily improve his pace before setting his personal fastest time on lap 11 and finishing inside the points zone in his first WSBK championship race of the season.
Struggling with a lack of grip, Ryuichi Kiyonari had a tougher race day and was forced to settle for nineteenth position at the end of the 20-lap competition.
Tomorrow’s Superpole race will start at 11:00 local time followed by Race 2 at 14:00 that rounds out the Portuguese race weekend.
Takumi Takahashi 13
“Today was quite challenging but it also had some positives and, above all, was a good experience. The first laps of the race were already tough enough, as I fought with some other riders and it took me some time to get past them and find my pace. But step by step my confidence improved and so did my rhythm. From mid-race on, I was able to maintain a consistent rhythm right until the end”.
Ryuichi Kiyonari 23
“I’m not happy with today’s performance. In qualifying I did not improve my position but at least the feeling with the bike was not bad, apart from the lack of rear grip. In order to try and improve in terms of that issue, we tried a set-up change, but it did not work as we were hoping for. I was struggling even more in the race and I could not ride fast enough. We must think ahead to tomorrow and work to try and do better”.