For the second race in Portimao we were another rider short, as Stefan Bradl was declared unfit after a crash during yesterday’s race, as well as still missing Sykes.
Camier took pole position ahead of van der Mark and Torres. It was Laverty, Savadori and Forés ahead of Melandri, Davies and Rea. On row 4 it was Lowes, Mercado and De Rosa while Ramos, Russo and West lined up on the 4th row. Badovini, Andreozzi and Takahashi took up grid slots 16, 17 and 18 and it was Jezek sitting in 19 finishing the grid.
From the start Rea was on a charge, and came from the 3rd row into the lead within 2 laps, taking the lead from Camier who had started to suffer with smoke occasionally coming from his MV. Eventually he had to call it a day and retire from the race.
Rea has had one of the strongest weekends of the season in Portimao and once again took the win by over 5 seconds making it 4 in a row in Portugal!
In terms of the championship, this weekend has been perfect for Rea. With Sykes out of both races and Davies crashing out of race 2, it has given the Irishman chance to defend his title and wrap up the the championship in race 1 of the next round in Magny-Cours.
Michael van der Mark took his debut podium with Yamaha, taking second which was well needed for him as a confidence boost ready for next weekend when he’ll be riding the factory Yamaha in MotoGP in replacement of Valentino Rossi.
P1 – Rea: “Incredible weekend. These weekends don’t come normally we had not so much challenges with our set up all weekend so I focused on how to write the bike the best I could. I want to thank all my team especially for making the effort to come and test here in May and- I have no words really. We had some difficulties with 7 laps to go, my bike cut off and I lost all power in the second gear from T4 in every lap with full wheelie control working so every lap was counting down and I was thinking ‘Am I going to finish this lap?’ and in the end the bike stayed put so I’m really happy. Pole position, 2 race wins, it couldn’t have come any better and I had a really good time as well. Now we can start to think about winning this championship. I want to thank everyone back at home for their support through social media etc and it really means a lot to me.”
P2- van der Mark: “I’m really happy, this season we came close a couple of times, we had so much bad luck. Today in the race I had quite a good start but I struggle with the grip in the beginning and at a certain point I found my rhythm and couldn’t go any faster but anyway there was enough for the podium and I’m so happy that we finally get the podium and I want to thank all the team for the hard work because we tried so many things this season and so much bad luck and finally this weekend everything came together.
P3- Melandri: “It was a very difficult race because after a few laps I lost the rear brake on the finger and I couldn’t stop the bike and I went wide again today and then I took time to come back, I lost a lot of time with Laverty then when I pass him I had a big shake on the straight and then he pass me back so again, I lost a lot of time. When I was behind van der Mark he was already too fast so I just tried to do my best to catch him but the pace was not so bad but the tyre was difficult for everyone so I couldn’t catch him in the end. 3rd place is always good but the rhythm was better today than yesterday so I’m happy thinking about the next race.
Rea took the win with van der Mark and Melandri finishing the podium. Laverty and Torres came across the line in 4th and 5th ahead of Savadori and Mercado. In 8th it was West followed by Badovini and the Red Bull Honda rider, Takahashi in 10th. Jezek came home in 11th being followed across the line by Andreozzi and Forés. Russo and Ramos both had an incident at the start of the race but did manage to finish taking the last points in 14th and 15th.
In the championship there are very little changes but gain for Rea as he is now on 431 points ahead of Sykes with 311. Davies is in 3rd after a DNF on 296 points with his team mate Melandri behind him on 250 points. 5th and 6th are Lowes and van der Mark on 169 and 166 just ahead of Forés on 156 and Camier on 133. Jordi Torres and Eugene Laverty finish out the top 10 of the championship on 130 and 117 points.