Superbike World Championship, Portimao (Portugal), September 2017

Kawasaki Sweep the Board Clean

Jonathan Rea and Kenan Sofuoglu once again dominated the scene in Portugal. Winners in Superbike and Supersport, the two Kawasaki riders have never been so close to winning their titles again.

The Races

It is a true that Jonathan Rea didn’t make the slightest mistake on the circuit of Portimao. Taking pole position, the reigning world champion and leader of the general Superbike ranking won both races over the weekend. Tom Sykes had much less success. Victim of a spectacular fall during the free practice sessions, the former world champion broke his left hand and had to give up the rest of the competition and leave for an operation in Barcelona. For his part, Randy Krummenacher signed his best performance of the year by taking seventh and eighth places in turn. In Supersport, Kenan Sofuoglu scored his fifth victory of the season after having also obtained the pole position during the practice test sessions. Kyle Ryde crossed the finish line in eleventh place while Michael Canducci finished seventeenth.

The Championship

Jonathan Rea now has 431 points, 120 more than his teammate who, despite his DNF in Portimao, is still second in the Superbike World Championship. The Brit, who should be behind the handlebars of his Kawasaki for the next race at Magny-Cours, still has a 15-point lead over Chaz Davies. Randy Krummenacher remains in fifteenth place while in Supersport Kenan Sofuoglu has taken control of the overall standings with a four-point lead over Lucas Mahias. No change for Kyle Ryde and Michael Canducci, respectively tenth and fifteenth overall.

The Background

Jonathan Rea has now clocked up 49 wins in World Superbike thanks to his new twin-win in Portimao. With 34 of his successes achieved under the Kawasaki colours, the Brit is now the most brilliant rider that the Japanese brand has had in its ranks. This year, the Superbike twin world champion seems to be riding on a different planet from his opponents. Nothing and nobody seems to be able to stop him winning a third title in a row. Even the new rule that relegates the winner of the first race to ninth place of the starting grid of the second race of the weekend.

I always performed well on the first laps.  I owe that to my off-road experience and to my training. When I was younger and rode motocross, my dad taught me to overtake an opponent very quickly when I got up to him so that I would not be blocked behind him. In this discipline, you need to know how to take quick decisions and improvise without asking questions. That’s why even when I start off with the pack I quickly find myself in front of them. I’m also lucky enough to ride a very agile motorcycle that makes overtaking easy.

Jonathan Rea