At Portimão Jonathan Rea takes his fourth double win of the season in Superbike. All the solutions brought by Pirelli perform well.

On the rear the riders opted for both the standard and the development SC0 solution. On the front the choice fell to the two development SC1 solutions with the exception of the Northern Irish Kawasaki rider who confirmed his fondness for the SC2, the harder solution

It was another double win for Jonathan Rea on his Kawasaki in the seventh round of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship held this weekend on the Portuguese Portimão track in Algarve.

Race 2

The Northern Irishman from the Akashi-based manufacturer has brought home impressive results in this first half of the season: out of the fourteen races he has won ten and finished second four times to earn a total of 330 points in the Championship and an impressive 124 advantage over the nearest contender, team mate Tom Sykes. All the solutions Pirelli brought to this round also performed well. In particular the Superbike riders used both the standard SC0 solution and the new T0611 SC0 development solution on the rear. Of the riders on the front rows Tom Sykes was the only rider to use both solutions, first the standard and then the development tyre. Unfortunately in Race 2 the English rider damaged both the rim and consequently the tyre on the kerb which kept him from maintaining his team mate's race pace. Besides the Kawasaki riders, Ducati riders Davide Giugliano (second in Race 2) and Chaz Davies (third in Race 1) also did an excellent job, as well as Aprilia rider Leon Haslam who, despite his less than perfect physical condition, gritted his teeth to take the bottom step of the podium in Race 2. Race 1 was heavily characterised by the rain that forced all the riders to make a pit stop to change tyres five laps from the end of the race because of the flag-to-flag rule. Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) was unable to exploit the pole position that he won on Saturday and was overtaken at the start by various riders, dropping down to eighth place. The first to take advantage was Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who, starting from the second spot on the grid, got off the line well to move into the lead. Behind him, his team mate Jonathan Rea (who had started from the eighth spot) made a quick comeback and was already in second place by the beginning of the second lap. Behind them were Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) who held onto third place, Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils), Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Honda World Superbike Team), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) and Davide Giugliano. During the sixth lap Badovini overtook both Giugliano and Guintoli to move into fifth place and in the meantime it was a battle for third place between Chaz Davis and Leon Haslam. From the tenth lap on the Kawasakis ridden by Rea and Sykes battled for first place, overtaking one another several times on the final straight stretch. The two handed the lead back and forth several times, engaging in a true in-house duel. The turning point came in the fifteenth lap when heavy rains began to fall on the Portuguese track, forcing all the riders to return to pit lane in the sixteenth lap to put on rain tyres. The only rider to take an extra lap on slicks before returning to the pits was Tom Sykes in the hopes of gaining an advantage over his team mate. Number 66 re-entered the track just as Rea was coming down the finishing stretch and he would have to settle for second place, only to overtake him shortly thereafter. So after the tyre change Sykes was first, followed by Rea and the two Ducatis ridden by Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano. It was a battle between Sykes and Rea for first place, but the race was decided on the final lap when Sykes was forced to lose precious seconds due to a problem with the electronics, giving up first place to the Northern Irishman. And so Jonathan Rea won his ninth race of the season, Tom Sykes rode to the second step of the podium and Chaz Davies on his Ducati finished third under the chequered flag.

Rae in action

In the meantime the rain stopped and before the second Superbike race the FIM Supersport World Championship race was held. Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) started well from pole position, forced to fend off the attacks of Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Patrick Jacobsen (CORE'' Motorsport Thailand) who alternated in second place until the fourth lap when the Turkish rider clinched it solidly. From the eighth lap Sofuoglu closed the gap behind the French MV Agusta rider to four tenths of a second and then overtaking him on the twelfth lap. And so a battle began between the two which reached its climax during the last lap with the French and Turkish rider passing one another time and time again. In the end it was Jules Cluzel who moved into the top spot under the chequered flag followed closely by Kenan Sofuoglu. Eight seconds later Patrick Jacobsen finished on the bottom step of the podium. In Race 2 of Superbike Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea once again got off to a great start, overtaking Davide Giugliano at the start, but the Italian immediately took back the lead ahead of the two Kawasakis. This formed the leading group led by Giugliano ahead of Sykes, Rea and team mate Chaz Davies. During the seventh lap the Ducati standard bearer pulled away from the pack a bit, creating a half second gap ahead of the Kawsakis which were battling for second place. In the ninth lap Jonathan Rea overtook his team mate to move into second place and at the end of the finish line straight at the start of the tenth lap he also got by Giugliano, moving into the lead. Shortly thereafter the Ducati rider was also overtaken by Tom Sykes who was hunting down his team mate. In the meantime Leon Haslam got the better of Chaz Davies to move into fourth place. The Northern Irishman stretched out the gap ahead of his rivals, creating an advantage of more than two seconds ahead of his team mate. Tom Sykes would have to deal with Davide Giugliano who had no intention of settling for third place and who, in the sixteenth lap, put a move on the English rider to take over second place. But Jonathan Rea had accumulated a significant gap and for the second time in one day the rider for the Akashi-based manufacturer went on to win with the podium completed by Davide Giugliano and Leon Haslam who had managed to overtake Sykes to finish in third. There were fourteen laps to be taken in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race. Lorenzo Savadori (Nuova M2 Racing) and Roberto Tamburini (Team MotoxRacing) got off the line well to monopolise the first two positions. Until the third lap Ondrej Jezek (Triple-M by Barni) was lying third, then overtaken by Raffaele De Rosa (Althea Racing). At the end of the race it was Tamburini who crossed under the wire first ahead of Savadori and De Rosa. In any case, the Nuova M2 Racing rider is still the provisional championship leader with a 25 point advantage ahead of Roberto Tamburini. On Saturday the fifth round of the FIM Superstock 600 European Championship was held with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finishing on the top step of the podium for the fifth time in a row.With this nth win, the Turkish rider laid a strong claim to the title, taking his point advantage to 64 ahead of the closest contender, Federico Caricasulo (Pata-Honda Junior Team) and 65 ahead of the rider lying third in the overall standings, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (San Carlo Team Italia). Rinaldi got off the line well from pole position but Razgatlioglu, starting from the sixth spot on the grid, jumped ahead several positions until catching up the Italian before the first lap was over. In the second lap the Turkish rider was only three tenths of a second behind Rinaldi and before the end of the lap he managed to overtake him, becoming race leader. Caricasulo also got past Rinaldi to move into second place, but Augusto Fernandez overtook Caricasulo to relegate him to third. In the seventh lap Caricasulo overtook Fernandez and then Razgatlioglu to move into the lead, but shortly thereafter the Turkish rider took back the top spot. Rinaldi also overtook Caricasulo for second place and then got past Razgatlioglu as well for first. At the beginning of the last lap, however, the Turkish rider was having none of it and he took back the lead to cross the wire first ahead of Rinaldi and Caricasulo. Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director: “The weather played a cruel joke on the Superbike riders in Race 1 today, giving us the first wet laps of the season, but that did not compromise excellent race performance. I don't think there is really much that can be said about the results. Jonathan Rea is really doing an exceptional job this year and he is being rewarded by the results, so first and foremost my congratulations to him. His main adversaries also did quite well, speaking of Tom Sykes, Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, as well as a courageous Leon Haslam who managed to take a step on the podium in Race 2 despite his less than ideal physical conditions. I must say that the races in the lower categories are becoming more and more exciting to watch and they are increasingly heated as a demonstration of how it is not necessarily the horsepower or absolute speed that makes for fun competition in the end, so much as the balance of the participating riders. I would like to make one clarification if I may about Tom Sykes' tyre in Race 2, which would seem to have deflated for no reason. Together with the team we actually determined that everything started with the bike hitting a kerb that damaged the rear rim and consequently the tyre. As for the rest, we can be satisfied with the performance of our tyres which allowed race times to be improved by twelve seconds compared to last year, a result achieved thanks to our constant development efforts. This is a very important activity for us, as are the tests that we will be conducting tomorrow right here in Portugal with the Superbike riders who will be testing some new solutions for future use.”

Davide Giugliano in action

The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders: In Superbike the first wet race of the season was held, or to be more precise, the first race with the flag-to-flag rule due to the rain that began to fall in the fifteenth lap. With the exception of the final laps in Race 1, when all the riders were forced to mount Pirelli DIABLO™ Rain tyres, the races were substantially held in dry conditions and almost all the solutions Pirelli brought to this round were used. In particular, on the front Jonathan Rea, the only rider on the grid to do so, confirmed his fondness for the soft solution in the range, the SC2. The other riders were more or less equally divided on their choice of the two development SC1 solutions, the S1699 and the T1467. For the rear all the riders opted for the two SC0 solutions available, the standard one and the T0611 development solution. More specifically, on the first three rows Sykes, Baiocco, Guintoli and Rea opted for the standard SC0, whereas the remainder of the riders went with the development solution. The only rider who changed up between Race 1 and Race 2 was Tom Sykes who used the standard solution first and then switched to the development solution. In Supersport the almost all the riders opted for the S1485 SC1 development solution on the front, including the three riders on the podium. On the rear the standard SC1 was the preferred tyre, also being chosen by Jules Cluzel and Kenan Sofuoglu. Third place finisher Patrick Jacobsen, on the other hand, preferred the new T1394 development solution. Pirelli Best Lap Award: The Pirelli Best Lap Awards are given to the riders who put in the fastest lap in the Superbike and Supersport races. They were presented at the Paddock Show during the press conference which follows the podium at the end of Superbike race 1 and race 2 and the Supersport race. The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Awards” will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and will be awarded during the ceremony at the end of the year. Jonathan Rea is leading the Superbike standings with 7 Best Laps won, Jules Cluzel the Supersport with 4 Best Laps. These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards at Portimão: WSB Race 1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'42.637 (3rd lap) WSB Race 2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'43.034 (2nd lap) WSS – Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), 1'45.411 (7th lap) The overall standings at mid season are as follows: WSB: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team): 7; Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team): 3; Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 3; Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils): 1 WSS: Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse): 4; Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Team): 2; Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres): 1 The 2015 Pirelli statistics for the Portimão round: • Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4433 • Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 6 rear • Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 34 front and 34 rear • Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet):: 5 front and 5 rear • Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 25 front and 26 rear • Temperature in Race 1: air 25° C, asphalt 29° C • Temperature in Race 2: air 30° C, asphalt 37° C • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 308.6 kms/h, by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in Race 1 at 6th lap. • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 278.4 kms/h, Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) at 3rd lap.