2019 Portimao World Superbike Race Two Result: A Fight At The Front

With only twenty laps of Portimao left of the weekend, the weather continued to be hot with a track temperature of 44°C. Alex Lowes changed back to a regular tyre for the last race of the weekend.

Jonathan Rea lined up alongside Alvaro Bautista and Alex Lowes on the front row, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu, Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark. Rea got a good start while Bautista got an ok one, but he lost positions to Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alex Lowes into the first turn and Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark in the second turn. After the jostling was settled, Rea led Razgatlioglu and Haslam with the Yamahas of Lowes and van der Mark behind them.

After one lap, Alvaro Bautista made use of the power his aerodynamics let him apply and passed Michael van der Mark into turn one, a move we've seen from the red bike all weekend. Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap only to immediately lose it to Bautista. On lap three, the leading five dropped off Michael van der Mark, but van der Mark was able to catch up after Bautista passed Alex Lowes for fourth place, and two laps later, Bautista took third place into turn one as Toprak Razgatlioglu tried the same move on Jonathan Rea. 

Lap six, turn one, Toprak Razgatlioglu passed Jonathan Rea, holding the lead through turn two after Alvaro Bautista made a move past the leading two, leading over the line, only to lose the lead to double-slipstreamed Razgatlioglu on the brakes. Jonathan Rea was in third place with Leon Haslam, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark in striking distance. 

A lap later, Bautista made his pass down the straight stick, followed by Jonathan Rea passing him into turn one, pushing Razgatlioglu from first to third. 

Alvaro Bautista tried to break away at the front, despite Jonathan Rea closing up in the latter half of each lap, until the Ducati could finally get almost a second clear by lap ten. Toprak Razgatlioglu was the only rider able to keep up with the leading duo, looking for a clean path past Jonathan Rea lap after lap while Alex Lowes, Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark dropped away from the podium race.

On lap fifteen, with Bautista a second clear of Rea, and Rea finally a second clear of Razgatlioglu, the battle for fourth place started heating up as Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes swapped places, letting Michael van der Mark and, eventually, Loris Baz catch up. The four riders swapped places over the next few laps, as Razgatlioglu's third place was a lonely four or five seconds ahead. 

As the laps ticked down, Alvaro Bautista's pace started dropping and Jonathan Rea started closing the second and a half gap a tenth or two here and there, until, on the last lap, the riders crossed the line less than a second apart with Rea closing fast. 

As Leon Haslam versus Alex Lowes became one fight two seconds ahead of a side-by-side battle between Michael van der Mark and Loris Baz, Jonathan Rea was closing up to get within the clean air behind Alvaro Bautista but the last two corners belonged to Ducati, with their superior power and clever aerodynamics, and Bautista was able to maintain his lead, passing the line a tenth of a second ahead of Jonathan Rea for the victory.

Toprak Razgatlioglu took the flag four seconds later, with Alex Lowes beating Leon Haslam and Loris Baz beating Michael van der Mark in two close battles behind him. 

Alvaro Bautista clawed back five points from Jonathan Rea's points tally, ending the weekend ninety one points behind the Kawasaki rider. Alex Lowes reclaimed third place from Michael van der Mark with his fourth place finish, while Toprak Razgatlioglu is within six points of fifth-placed, in both the race and the title chase, Leon Haslam. 

With only three rounds remaining, Jonathan Rea's ninety one point lead means he can win the title at the next race weekend. Here's a chart of when the title can be won. If, at the beginning of any race, Jonathan Rea leads by this many points, he wins the title. 


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 19 A. BAUTISTA Ducati Panigale V4 R  
2 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 0.111
3 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 4.576
4 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 8.119
5 91 L. HASLAM Kawasaki ZX-10RR 8.185
6 76 L. BAZ Yamaha YZF R1 11.187
7 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 11.217
8 33 M. MELANDRI Yamaha YZF R1 16.488
9 66 T. SYKES BMW S1000 RR 17.188
10 11 S. CORTESE Yamaha YZF R1 18.352
11 81 J. TORRES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 20.888
12 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 26.491
13 28 M. REITERBERGER BMW S1000 RR 28.061
14 50 E. LAVERTY Ducati Panigale V4 R 30.993
15 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 33.331
16 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 39.825
17 13 T. TAKAHASHI Honda CBR1000RR 48.441
18 20 S. BARRIER Ducati Panigale V4 R 53.560
19 23 R. KIYONARI Honda CBR1000RR 56.409
20 52 A. DELBIANCO Honda CBR1000RR 1'03.666
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Judging by drive off corners, looks like his rear tire shoulder grip plopped off a cliff. That motor asks a lot of rears!

there was one corner in particular, must have been the slowest hairpin-ish one, where it looked like he was having to spin the rear just to get round it. 

Dare I say it - not a terribly exciting event, we really want to see them trade paint rather than take turns at clearing off.

At the end he was done in. Couldn't remove his helmet or gloves for himself. Barely able to stand up for a couple of minutes.