Seventh Portimao win and third double victory in a row put Jonathan Rea 116 points ahead of competition.
Looking at the title it might seem that Jonathan Rea managed to escape the competition like he did in race 1 on Saturday and win uncontested. In reality it was anything but a walk in the park for Kawasaki rider, who started the race from ninth position, while title rival, Aruba Ducati’s Chaz Davies, started from race 2 pole position.
At the start of the race, it was Davies and Rea’s team mate Tom Sykes, that hold their starting position in turn 1, while Rea produced a brilliant start to charge from ninth position to third. While he got past his team mate on lap 3 with relative ease, it was a lot tougher getting past Davies and both title contenders got involved in yet another titanic scrap for the lead. First strike came at lap 8, when Northern Irishman tried to pass Welshman into turn 1, but was not successful in his attempt. Another try came 2 laps later, when Kawasaki man succed in his attempt, but had to relinquish the lead at turn 5, when Ducati managed to find the space to put attack on his own. Behind them Davies’ Aruba team mate Marco Melandri and Pata Yamaha Michael van der Mark took advantage of leading pair battling for the lead and closed the gap to them.
Battle for the lead came to an end on lap 12, when Davies got wide into turn 10 and had no chance of responding to the Kawasaki, as he had to fend off an attack from his team mate, when both got down the main straight. This proved to be a mistake, as Melandri overshot his attempt, putting both men wide and allowing van der Mark to pass them into turn 1 in one attempt and get after leader Rea. While he tried his best to surpass the leader, he felt short of reigning champion pace, who secured the win by 1.1s at the line. Melandri settled for third position in the end, while Davies faded in second part of the race, but did enough to stay ahead of Sykes, who finished fifth.
Behind top 5 there were Milwaukee Aprilia’s of Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty that secured sixth and seventh position, as both regrouped after race 1 disaster for the team, with Michael Rinaldi securing top Independent honours in eight position for Aruba Ducati junior team. Althea BMW Loris Baz, who started the race from third position, finished the race in ninth, with Barni Ducati Xavi Fores completing the top 10. Second Pata Yamaha of Alex Lowes finished eleventh, in what was a difficult weekend for the Briton. American Jake Gagne was the best Honda rider as he finished behind Lowes and ahead of MV Agusta’s Jordi Torres, his Honda team mate Leon Camier and Orelac Kawasaki’s Leandro Mercado, who completed the top 15.
Racing continues from 28th to 30th September, when Superbike paddock will visit Magny Cours track in France.
Featured Image Credit: WorldSBK