WSBK: Por­tu­gal

Kawasaki Rac­ing Team’s Jonathan Rea takes dou­ble vic­tory at Por­ti­mao, Por­tu­gal, inch­ing closer to his fourth ti­tle

Bike India - - CONTENTS - STORY: RAVI CHAND­NANI PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: LULOP.COM

Race One

Start­ing from the first row in P2, Kawasaki Rac­ing Team’s Jonathan Rea came back from the sum­mer break with a bang. The grid looked quite in­ter­est­ing with Eugene Laverty of Aprilia start­ing on pole, fol­lowed by Rea, Marco Me­landri of Aruba.it Du­cati in P3, Lorenzo Savadori of Aprilia was in P4, and Michael van der Mark of Pata Yamaha com­plet­ing the top five.

As the lights went out, Rea took the lead and never looked back. The Northern Ir­ish rider main­tained a con­sis­tent pace, turn­ing his early lead into a stel­lar vic­tory from pole to flag. Be­hind the Kawasaki rider, Du­cati’s Marco Me­landri had a tough time de­fend­ing his po­si­tion. For the first half of the race, Me­landri was en­gaged in a tough fight with Lorenzo Savadori. How­ever, at the begin­ning of lap 12, the Aprilia rider crashed, thus al­low­ing Me­landri some breath­ing space for the race. Af­ter Lorenzo’s crash, the race con­tin­ued with very lit­tle ac­tion. Me­landri even­tu­ally took P2 and Michael van der Mark, who had moved up a place af­ter Savadori’s crash, was able to fin­ish on the podium by fin­ish­ing third. Chaz Davies, who is cur­rently sec­ond in the cham­pi­onship man­aged to fin­ish fourth de­spite a col­lar­bone in­jury. Tom Sykes, the sec­ond Kawasaki rider who was also strug­gling with in­jury, com­pleted the top five.

Race Two

The first race was quite a straight­for­ward event with hardly any drama apart from Savadori’s crash. How­ever, the sec­ond event proved to be more in­tense as a lot more rid­ers were fighting for the top three spots, in­clud­ing race one win­ner Rea.

The race started with Chaz Davies of Aruba.it Du­cati tak­ing an early lead thanks to the re­verse grid order. Be­hind Davies was the Kawasaki duo of Rea and Sykes, who were slug­ging it out for the lead with Chaz. As the race pro­gressed, Marco Me­landri also joined the fight. By lap five, Me­landri had over­taken Sykes for P3 and started cre­at­ing a gap as he went on to chase Rea and Davies. Sykes ran into some trou­ble as he slipped down to P5 when Michael van der Mark passed him for P4.

The race be­came even more in­ter­est­ing on lap 12 when Rea fi­nally over­took Davies for the lead. Soon Me­landri also chal­lenged Davies; how­ever, in his quest to move up, Me­landri ended up run­ning wide, tak­ing Davies along. This gave Michael van der Mark the open­ing to slip into P2 on lap 13.

At the end of the race, Rea was the win­ner with Michael van der Mark in sec­ond, and Me­landri in third. Davies re­peated his race one re­sults by fin­ish­ing fourth and even Sykes did the same by com­plet­ing the top five.

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