Rea cuts points after another victory in Portimão
Jonathan Rea bounced back from the disappointment of a crash in Saturday's Superpole with a display in a second dry race to narrow the points gap that separated him from his biggest rival, Toprak Razgatlioglu.
The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal, hosted the 11th WorldSBK round, which started under bright sunshine in which both Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes took advantage from the last tests in Portimão in their first preparations for the WorldSBK races that would take place throughout the weekend.
Rea and his team decided to make several setup changes from FP1 to FP2, and as a result, Rea was not only the fastest rider on a single lap, but made real progress in his race pace on used tires. He finished 0.217 seconds ahead of the next best rider of the session, Toprak Razgatlioglu, his main rival in the championship. Lowes, for his part, finished FP2 0.191 seconds behind Jonathan, and satisfied with these first practices after retiring from race two at Jerez last week.
The next day, and after the initial tough battles, Rea tried to break out, losing control and slipping, having to abandon the first race of the Portuguese weekend. The Northern Irish rider suffered an scrapped on his left elbow and multiple bruises from the fall, but he finished the day hoping to wake up on Sunday with just a little sore, but without serious consequences.
Lowes decided not to run the first race, despite the strong pace he demonstrated during practice the day before. The decision was made after receiving medical advice that told him to rest his injured hand. He did not compete on Saturday or Sunday.
Already on Sunday, during the Superpole, Rea took the lead giving everything to win, but fell when braking at Turn 13 on the first lap and could not continue. In addition, the fall made him start the second race from the fourth row.
Of the 20-lap race, 19 were finally run, after an error in the start procedure kept the riders on the grid for a while before it was restarted again.
It was a short time before the race turned into a three-way fight between Rea; Toprak Razgatlioglu, the leader of the championship; and Scott Redding. With a very confident and steady Rea in front after several passes and lead changes, Razgatlioglu crashed on lap 10, leaving the Northern Irishman strong enough to beat Redding by 5,425 seconds.
Rea and his team celebrated the victory, but also the cut of points. In fact, he is now 24 points behind Razgatlioglu in the overall championship standings, with six more races to go.
The next round of the WorldSBK championship will take place at the San Juan Villicum circuit in Argentina, between October 15 and 17.
After a good performance on Saturday, Ana Carrasco finished the last race of the season in 21st position, after not having been able to fight for the front positions as she did not get a set-up for her bike that gave her enough confidence.
Now that the season has ended for the WorldSSP300, with the victory of the Spanish Adrián Huertas, Ana prepares to shape the ambitious project for 2022 during these following weeks.