Another twin-win for Rea
After Sykes in Donington, Rea put on the show in Portimao by winning both races in the seventh round of the world championship. For the Kawasaki rider, it’s the fourth twin-win of the season, a further feat allowing him to widen the gap with his opponents even more. Sykes has moved up to second place overall.
To say that the Kawasaki team is dominating the Superbike World Championship this season is an understatement. In Portugal, Rea and Sykes took the first two places in the first race. They achieved the one-two under difficult conditions, the oncome of rain forcing the riders to return to the pits. For many laps Sykes was on a par with his teammate before a technical hitch made him lose contact.
In the second race, held when the circuit had dried out, Rea quietly imposed his style, while Sykes had to contend with a tyre losing pressure which unsettled his bike’s behaviour. The Brit had to give up as the laps went by and resign himself to finishing in eighth position. In the Supersport category, Kenan Sofuoglu once again made it to the podium, finishing second after leading the race until the start of the very last lap. Marco Faccani took the chequered flag in twelfth position.
Having scored 330 of the 350 points possible, Jonathan Rea is racing away in the lead of the standings in the World Superbike Championship. The Kawasaki rider is 124 points ahead of his new runner-up, who is none other than his teammate. After making it to his seventh podium of the season, Tom Sykes has taken second place in the championship, seven points ahead of Leon Haslam. In the Supersport category, Kenan Sofuoglu also remains a strong leader. The Kawasaki rider has a 40-point lead over the winner of the day, France’s Jules Cluzel. Marco Faccani is still included in the top ten. With 36 points, the Italian ranks ninth overall.
Nothing seems able to stop Jonathan Rea from taking the Championship crown this year. Despite a fall in the Superpole on Saturday afternoon, forcing him to start twice from the third row of the starting grid, the championship leader once again was in scintillating form and won both races. Out of the first seven rounds of the season, Rea has won ten races, including four twin-wins, and finished two others in second place. The Brit has thus become the first rider in history to score 330 points in fourteen races – surpassing the track record of his compatriot Neil Hodgson – a fabulous achievement, but one that has not altered the Kawasaki rider’s sense of modesty.
“I’ve got a great bike and a great team,” says Jonathan. “Each weekend we manage to apply the right strategy. We’ve learnt the lessons from the mistakes we made in Donington. I now have a solid lead in the overall classification, but it won’t change my approach to the next races.”