On the dry asphalt the Englishman with Kawasaki Racing Team took Superpole on Saturday and won Race 1. In Race 2 the pouring rain gave the Pata Honda World Superbike Team rider an advantage and in Supersport Dutchman Michael Vd Mark took his fourth win of the season.
Wet weather partially characterised the eni FIM World Superbike races at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve this weekend. In fact, although the weather in southern Portugal was sunny on Saturday, after a dry Race 1 today the Superbike Race 2 was held in the rain. This obviously did not compromise normal race operations and the show for the crowd who came out to the circuit, but it definitely made the tyre choice more difficult and more varied.
The most popular ones for the rear in Race 1 were the DIABLO™ Superbike standard SC0 for the Superbike riders and the new soft solution dedicated exclusively to the EVO riders, whereas the S1699 proved to be the most popular solution on the front. Then the rain in Race 2 left no choice for the riders but to use wet DIABLO™ Rain tyres.
In Race 1 it was a battle between riders from the Kawasaki Racing Team and the Aprilia Racing Team. Tom Sykes, starting from pole position, initially lost the lead but then took it back in the fourth lap without relinquishing it again to win with a 2.5 second advantage over Aprilia's Frenchman, Sylvain Guintoli, who came back from the sixth position on the grid to finish second. Their respective team mates crossed the line behind them with Loris Baz on the third step of the podium and Marco Melandri having to settle for fourth place.
Race 2 was declared a wet race and reduced to 18 laps instead of the originally scheduled 20. All the riders on the grid mounted DIABLO™ Rain wet tyres. All the riders on the front rows got off to a good start but the decisive lap that marked the definitive trend of the race was the 13th when Aprilia riders Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli, holding strong in second and third place respectively behind Jonathan Rea, were taken out of the race after colliding with one another. At that point the British rider from Pata Honda World Superbike Team had a clear path to success and he crossed the finish line ahead of the rest in the rain. Behind him the Ducati Superbike Team riders Davide Giuglianoand Chaz Davies finished in second and third place respectively.
In the FIM World Supersport Championship race, interrupted in the 12th lap due to rain, victory went to Dutchman Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), his fourth of the season, who also won the Best Lap astride his Honda CBR600RR, holding onto the overall standings lead with 160 points, widening the gap ahead of the closest contenders, Jules Cluzel and Florian Marino. The red flag that stopped the race also decided a second place for Irishman Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) and third place for the Turk from MAHI Racing Team India, Kenan Sofuoglu on his Kawasaki.
After the Superbike Race 2 it was Superstock 1000's turn, but the clouds hovering over the track were kind to that race and it was held in almost dry conditions. The winner was Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini) with his second consecutive victory of the year and new championship leader, followed by Matthieu Lussiana (Team Garnier by ASPI) and David McFadden (MRS Kawasaki) in third place.
In the FIM Superstock 600 European Championship held on Saturday it wasMarco Faccani (San Carlo Team Italia) taking yet another win, the fourth out of five races held, on his Kawasaki ZX-6R to lead the overall standings with 106 points. Crossing the finish line behind him was Dutchman Wayne Tesselsastride his Suzuki GSX-R600 for Waynes Racing Team, moving into second place for the overall championship standings. The bottom step of the podium was occupied by Federico Caricasulo (Evan Bros. Racing Team) on his Honda CBR600RR.
Last but not least, in the European Junior Cup Spaniard Augusto Fernandez took his fourth win of the season for team WIL Sport, now leading the championship with 129 points, second place for Angelo Licciardi (S.E.F.A.B Racing) and third place for Javier Orellana (Europe Food SL) who in any case holds onto his second place position in the overall standings.
Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director:
“In this round the solutions we brought worked well once again. Our only disappointment is that we were not able to see the new rear solution designed exclusively for the Superbike category in action. In fact, the riders preferred the standard SC0 solution in Race 1 which we already know quite well, rather than risking a new solution, whereas in Race 2 they were forced to mount wet tyres. In any case we are satisfied because we will be able to offer this solution to the riders for the Laguna Seca round as well where we hope to get more feedback. On the other hand the new solution dedicated to the EVO riders was popular straight away, the T0532, which had only been tested at Imola in May but had never been brought to the races until now. The S1185 SC1 development solution also performed quite well, providing riders like Melandri, who used it in Race 1, performance similar to the riders who chose the standard soft solution. As concerns the front tyre choices we received confirmation for the nth time on the S1699 SC1 development solution which will quite probably be the new standard SC1 for 2015. In Race 2 all the riders obviously used wet DIABLO™ Rain tyres which performed very well, allowing the riders to maintain a sustained race pace and to make some incredible passes. I would like to compliment all the key players of the weekend. It was too bad about the Aprilia riders in race 2 who were riding a very good race.”
The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders:
In the Superbike class for Race 1 the S1699 development solution in a medium-soft compound was confirmed as the most popular option among the riders who chose it almost unanimously.
A solution introduced by Pirelli for the first time at the Aragòn round and which was then brought to Assen, Imola, Donington and Misano which has always been quite popular with the teams and riders.
On the rear the choice of the EVO riders fell to the new solution dedicated to them, the T0532, whereas the Superbike riders almost all preferred thestandard SC0 over the T0384 development tyre, making a more conservative choice and using a product with which they were already very familiar. Some of the riders, including Marco Melandri, opted for a harder solution, the S1185 SC1 development solution.
In Race 2 all of the riders obviously opted for the wet DIABLO™ Rain tyres because of the rain.
In Supersport the most widely used option on the front was the S1485 development solution which was used for the first time at Misano and which was chosen by 18 of the 25 riders on the grid here, confirming its status as an excellent alternative to the already good standard SC1.
For the rear the S0624 SC1 development tyre, already seen in action at Aragón, Assen, Imola and Donington,earned the preference of 2/3 of the riders on the grid, while 5 riders went with the new T813 soft compound solution and only 2 chose the new T814.
Pirelli Best Lap Awards:
The “Pirelli Best Lap Awards” are awarded by Pirelli to the riders who set the fastest race lap in Superbike and Supersport. This prestigious recognition is presented by a Pirelli representative during the Paddock Show in a press conference which follows the podium at the end of the races, for a total of three awards each weekend.
The Superbike and Supersport riders who have earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Award” titles at the end of the season will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and awarded during the end of year ceremony. At the moment Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) leads the Superbike standings with 4 Best Lap Awards. In Supersport Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) is the leader with 3 Best Lap Awards.
These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards at Portimão:
WSB Gara 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'43.167(4th lap)
WSB Gara 2 – Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team),1'54.118 (18th lap)
WSS – Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), 1’45.777 (5thlap)
The overall standings after eight rounds are as follows:
WSB: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 4; Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team): 3; Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team): 2; Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team): 2; Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team): 2; Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki): 2; Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team): 1
WSS: Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team): 3; Jules Cluzel(MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport): 1; Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing): 1; Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India): 1; Kev Coghlan (DMC Panavto-Yamaha): 1; Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres): 1
The 2014 Pirelli statistics for the Portimãoround:
• Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4362
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 7 rear
• Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 32 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: 27 front and 27 rear
• Temperature in Race 1: air 21° C, asphalt 29° C
• Temperature in Race 2 (Wet): air 21° C, asphalt 27° C
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 306.8 kms/h, in Race 1 by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) at 10th lap
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 279.8 kms/h, Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) at 3rd lap.