Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after Sunday's races at Portimao:
World Supersport is known for giving us close racing, with plenty of brave and ambitious riders, all with a burning desire to win. This race was without a doubt a perfect example of the class at its best.
Qualifying at Portimão was all about dodging the rain. As the clouds loomed pendulously overhead, riders had to time their runs in Superpole well, in case the rain fell. As it was, after the first session, Superpole two was rapidly abandoned and, along with Superpole three, it was replaced with a single wet 20 minute session. It didn't rain.
World Supersport qualifying was done with a backdrop of threatening weather.
Sam Lowes was able to fend off both the rain and Kenan Sofuoglu. The white flags came out twice during the session, yet Lowes was still able to get within a fifth of a second of Sofuoglu's outright best lap from 2010 and lead Sofuoglu and Sheridan Morais by over half a second. The front row is made up of three manufacturers, with Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda all represented.
Sheridan Morais and Jack Kennedy headed off Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu in a session whose top four was contained within two tenths of a second. Michael Van Der Mark and Fabien Foret both showed signs of recovery filling out the provisional second row.
Repeating his result from Friday, Jonathan Rea, in the last few minutes of the qualifying session, grabbed provisional pole. The Aprilias of Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli, also on the provisional front row, were the only ones recording multiple 1'43 laps, however.
In response to the announcement that new rules will be coming into play in 2014, with the aim of making Superbike racing more affordable and with more competitive machines on the grid, Jonathan Rea put his beleaguered Honda Fireblade in provisional pole position, ahead of the two men that won here last year.
Rea has never won at Portimão, but he's been on the podium every year since 2009 and he was even in fourth place in 2008 when he switched over from World Supersport for the last race of the year and his first ever weekend on the Ten Kate Superbike. It's safe to say he goes well here. Unfortunately, so do Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes. Sykes won race one here in 2012, from, as will come as a shock to precisely nobody, pole position, but DNFed in a second race won by Laverty, as part of his late-year discovery of form and electronics.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams, as well as the series organizer, after the first day of practice in Portimao:
Sam Lowes once again sets provisional pole, half a second faster than his rival Kenan Sofuoglu. Jack Kennedy continues to impress with the last provisional front row place. while David Salom, fourth fastest and returning from injury, is the only other rider within a second of the fast Lowes.
After a damn grey morning, Sam Lowes opened the weekend with a fastest lap some five seconds off the record, demonstrating that the track wasn't ready for the fast times. The session was split with a red flagged six minutes from the end, but there were no major incidents recorded.
Press release previews from the teams and organizer ahead of this weekend's World Superbike round at Portimao, in Portugal:
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the races at Donington Park:
The reduced grid in World Superbike really shows up when one or two riders are injured and cannot race. Losing both Leon Haslam and Carlos Checa from the competition today hammered home the reasoning behind Dorna's proposed financial limiting, especially after the predictable departure of Effenbert Liberty Racing. Seventeen riders competed for points in the second race, meaning only two of them wouldn't score points. With the good weather, there were luckily very few DNFs, which would have made it look even worse. When MotoGP was in this position, defibrillators were charged, flags were run up poles, mourners wailed and changes were forced through for the good of the sport. World Superbike is getting close to this stage and something needs to be done.
World Supersport benefits from the sheer volume of riders on near equal machinery and varying levels of skill. Normally, this means that the racing is cut and thrust and close, front to back.