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Rea takes Championship lead after dominant Portimão performance

Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea has taken the lead in the WSBK Championship from Ducati’s Scott Redding after banking three from three at Portimao,

Race 1
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his 91st career race win, and his first full distance win of the season, to close the gap on championship leader Scott Redding ( Racing – Ducati), who finished seventh.
Rea ran away with it from his pole position start, outpacing potential race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and easing away to win by over five seconds.
Toprak was second and after some great fights with the other top seven riders, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) made it two R1s on the podium in third, seven seconds from Rea.

Off the podium, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was fourth, with privateer Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati) fifth and early race podium-bound Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) sixth.
Redding at first passed his rivals and then was in turn re-passed, with Baz, Redding, and then eighth-placed Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) all across the line in one loose grouping.
The top ten was completed by Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) some 14 seconds back from Rea, and the second BMW of Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team).
Rea’s tenth race win at Portimao saw him move to just eight points behind Redding at the top of the table.
Superpole Race
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his second win in Portimao in as many days, and his 11th win at the Portuguese circuit, with a dominant display that saw him finish almost three seconds ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team).
True success for the Ten Kate Yamaha team came with a deserved third place for Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) on his 2020 spec machine, after a strong start and determined push to stay head of the factory Kawasaki of Alex Lowes.
Having to muscle his bike around the intense 4.952km long Portimao layout, Scott Redding ( Racing – Ducati) was fifth and entered the final race of the weekend just a single point lead over Rea.

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Portuguese WSBK 2020

The Superpole race top six was rounded out by Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), under pressure from Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team).
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati) eventually won a fight with Leon Haslam (HRC Honda) for eighth, with the ever-improving Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) tenth and one place up on the HRC Honda of Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda).
Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) and Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) had an early coming together. Laverty rejoined and finishing last, while Davies was forced to retire
Race 2

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his fifth win of the 2020 season in race two, his first triple-header whitewash since Losail last season, giving the Kawasaki rider the World Championship lead for the first time this year, ending his weekend in Portugal four points up after arriving from Spain 24 points down.
Behind Rea, Scott Redding ( Racing – Ducati) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) fought it out with Redding finally claiming the second spot on the podium ahead of Van der Mark, with Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) claiming fourth Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) crashed out.

Scott Redding, Portuguese WorldSBK race2, 2020

Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) finished fifth, followed by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati) in sixth, and top BMW rider was Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) seventh.
Razgatlioglu remounted after an early crash to finish eighth, Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha) brought his Yamaha home in ninth, while Leandro Mercado (MotoCorsa Racing Ducati) rounded out the top ten.
Rea leaps ahead of Redding in the Championship standings after his dominant performance. Rea leaves Portugal with 136 points, just four points ahead of Redding on 132 points. Razgatlioglu sits in third with 103 points, while Alex holds onto fourth place with 91 ahead of fifth place holder van der Mark on 82.

Jonathan Rea WSBK Race1, Portuguese WSBK 2010

Words Gordon Ritchie

Images GnG