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Ocean’s Eleven For Rea In 2018 | Sport | WSBK

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his 11th race win of the season to extend his championship lead to 104 points, after strong leading performance in race one at Portimao.

The Northern Irishman set a new lap record of 1’42.304 as he eased out a lead of 0.4 seconds over Melandri on lap three.

In winning his 65th WorldSBK race he matched the start number he ran before he earned his first number one plate. He also reached a landmark of 50 wins for Kawasaki since he joined then in 2015.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finished second, unable to match Rea’s pace but eventually clear of the final podium rider, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha).

With eight laps to go long time third placed rider Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) fell at turn one, promoting van der Mark to third.

Pole man Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) was taken out of the race on the first lap, at turn three, as Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team Ducati) clipped the back of the Aprilia under braking, putting both out of the running.

Race start, WSBK Race1, Portuguese WSBK 2018

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) moved up to sixth from 14th after one lap, and rode strongly to finish fourth, after the exit of Savadori.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) placed fifth, almost 13 seconds behind the win.

An excellent sixth place for Loris Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team) was as much as his privateer team could have expected, with Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) seventh.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) scored eighth, with the top ten completed by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba Racing IT Ducati Junior Team) and a recovering Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK).

Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was forced to retire after running wide. Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was 13th and only 14 riders finished of the 20 starters.

Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race1, Portuguese WSBK 2018

GRT Riders Go 1-2 In WorldSSP Superpole

Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and his team-mate Federico Caricasulo made the best possible Saturday results for their official Yamaha squad by securing first and second place in the WorldSSP Superpole qualifying session at Portimao.

Mahias was unsure if he had even made the front row on his final slowing down lap, but held an eventual advantage over his team-mate of 0.225 seconds, with third place taken by Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing Yamaha).

The top four riders were all on Yamahas, with Jules Cluzel (NRT Yamaha) heading off the first non-R6 rider, Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag), who will take up fifth place on the grid.

The second row was rounded out by another top competitor on most weekends, Switzerland’s Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha).

The top Honda belonged to Spanish-based Briton Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) in seventh. One time factory WorldSBK rider Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) was eighth, and the best Kawasaki qualifier was Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in ninth place. Hannes Soomer (Racedays Honda) completed the top ten.

Class new boy Hector Barbera (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) came within one place of entering Superpole 2, despite losing some track time with a technical issue. Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing Yamaha) was 12th in SP2.

The scheduled 18-lap WorldSSP race will start at 13.45 local time on Sunday.

By Gordon Ritchie

Photos GnG