2015 Portimão World Superbike Race Two Results: The Second Half Starts Here

The first race of the second half of the season, number fourteen of twenty-six, would not suffer from the bad weather that caused drama in the opening race.

Tom Sykes took the lead into the first turn with the Ducati pairing of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies one again following him into turn one. Jonathan Rea, having pushed Alex Lowes offline, was fifth, behind Leon Haslam, but wasted no time in passing him a few turns into the first lap.

As the second lap started, Giugliano tried to pass Sykes down the straight but Sykes held position into the first turn. Behind them, Rea was doing the exact same thing to Davies, only he made the pass stick and took third place. One lap later, Rea would be more ambitious, passing both Giugliano and Sykes at the end of the straight, but as Sykes tried to reclaim his place, he squeezed himself and Rea out and let Giugliano past. Rea recovered from the pass in second place, ahead of Sykes and the race continued without too much ground lost by the front three.

In World Superbike, the bikes need to be homologated but some parts can be changed freely and the exhaust is one such part. Ducati have introduced a new exhaust on the Panigale to give it low-speed grunt out of corners, something that used to be a characteristic of racing Ducatis of old. This came to play on the fifth lap, when Rea tried to pass Giugliano into the first turn, but once again, it didn't work as intended and Giugliano held fast, switching back past Rea as he exited the corner on a less successful line, Giugliano making the most of the increased low-speed drag from the new exhaust.

A lap later, Rea tried the same move even less successfully, running wide enough for Giugliano to retain his lead and for Sykes to follow him past. Chaz Davies in fourth could also have followed through, but he took the same line as Rea and lost time, falling back towards a charging Leon Haslam.

On the seventh lap, Rea once again pushed into the first turn, and one again couldn't hold it, passing Sykes only to see Sykes take second place back.

On lap nine, the turn one pass stuck, with practice finally making perfect and Rea took second place from Sykes. Another lap, Rea tried the same trick on Giugliano and held the lead after a successful pass. Unlike the other riders who led, Rea was able to build a gap. seven tenths after a lap, a full second a lap later, helped by Sykes passing Giugliano.

After a few laps, it was evident Sykes's pace was dropping, with his 1'43s turning into 1'44s on the thirteenth lap and into the high 1'45s on the sixteenth lap, lapping slower than almost everyone behind him. Giugliano passed him on lap sixteen and Haslam was lapping fast enough in fourth to catch and pass him two laps later.

Jonathan Rea had a clear five second gap that he managed to the end of the race and Davide Giugliano was happy in second place, his best result of the year. Leon Haslam, still suffering from a rib injury he exacerbated in his race one crash, returned to the podium in third, having spend three weekends without a top-three result. Chaz Davies missed out on a podium in fourth.

Tom Sykes finished in eighth place, having been passed by three riders in one move at the beginning of the last lap.

Ten wins out of fourteen races as Rea opens the second half of the season the same way he started the year and with every non-win being a second place, this looks like it could go down as one of the more dominant seasons in Superbike history.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap Best Lap Speed
1 65 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10R   1'43.034 308,6
2 34 D. GIUGLIANO Ducati Panigale R 5.416 1'43.189 304,2
3 91 L. HASLAM Aprilia RSV4 RF 6.689 1'43.359 296,7
4 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 10.445 1'43.302 306,8
5 60 M. VD MARK Honda CBR1000RR SP 14.122 1'43.379 300,0
6 1 S. GUINTOLI Honda CBR1000RR SP 14.265 1'43.744 297,5
7 81 J. TORRES Aprilia RSV4 RF 16.213 1'43.612 294,3
8 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 19.384 1'43.062 301,7
9 36 L. MERCADO Ducati Panigale R 19.998 1'44.094 298,3
10 15 M. BAIOCCO Ducati Panigale R 27.332 1'44.189 300,0
11 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10R 28.904 1'44.132 291,9
12 86 A. BADOVINI BMW S1000 RR 31.138 1'44.170 295,9
13 22 A. LOWES Suzuki GSX-R1000 34.252 1'44.289 294,3
14 23 C. PONSSON Kawasaki ZX-10R 56.181 1'45.631 291,1
15 18 N. TEROL Ducati Panigale R 1'02.679 1'45.908 292,7
16 14 R. DE PUNIET Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'03.200 1'45.732 288,8
17 59 N. CANEPA Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'03.488 1'45.990 282,7
18 75 G. RIZMAYER BMW S1000 RR 1 Lap 1'48.260 287,2
19 10 I. TOTH BMW S1000 RR 1 Lap 1'49.454 287,2

 

Round Number: 
7
2015
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Comments

From 13 to 5th, finishing before the current champ. That kid needs a better ride.