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Jun 3, 2013

Previews Of This Coming Weekend's FIM Superike World Championship Event In Portugal

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Marco Melandri (33) in action on his BMW S1000RR.
Pirelli at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve round with soft and medium tyres capable of handling the potentially high temperature

Since this is the first time the eni FIM World Superbike Championship will be held at Portimão in the month of June, Pirelli will be bringing various solutions, some of which were already used at Phillip Island and Monza, in SC0 and SC1 compounds which best adapt to operating in the heat

Portimão (Portugal), 3 June 2013 – With one third of the eni FIM World Superbike Championships behind us now, Pirelli is ready to get back on the track in Portugal at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, where there was a Superbike round just 8 months ago, for the sixth round of the 2013 season.
Up to now the 17 inch tyres which have been used from this season in the Superbike class as well have performed very well, confirming the expectations of both the Milan-based company's designers and the riders who have consistently improved their lap times and even broken historic records.

Pirelli's development work continues in any case throughout the year, not only to provide the riders with better and better solutions, but also because, staying true to the "We sell what we race, we race what we sell" philosophy, at the end of the season any compound solutions which have proven to be better than the standard ones will be added to the range next year in order to provide bikers with tyres that are always up to date in terms of technology and performance.

At Portimão, after the Donington absence, the smaller Superstock classes will be back in action for their fourth round.

The Portuguese track which will be the setting for the 4 eni FIM World Superbike Championship classes was designed by architect Ricardo Pina and is 4592 metres long with turn radii that go from a minimum of 23 metres to a maximum of 207 metres. The straight line to the finish is 835 metres long and the rider in pole position starts from the right side of the track.


Portimão from a tyre point of view:

Since being opened in 2008, the asphalt on the Portuguese circuit has gradually lost its aggressive character, greatly smoothing out its harshness on the tyres and losing some of its natural grip. When it hosted the first official competition on 2 November 2008 with the final round of that season's World Superbike Championship, ending with the farewell to multiple world champion Troy Bayliss, tyres with extremely high mechanical resistance had to be used in order to prevent tearing of the tread surface and to minimise removal of the compound due to friction. The situation last year was quite different when even the softest solutions suffered in terms of grip with the asphalt temperature above 40°C. This year, since the races will be held in June, the temperatures may very well be even higher and this effect could be even greater.

Generally the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is one of the circuits that best bring out the capacity of the tyre to operate in extremely different conditions.

The part of the track that puts the tyres to the hardest test is the last turn which is 350 metres long and takes 6.5 seconds to navigate: due to the large turn radius (about 150 metres), the bike is in constant acceleration and goes from 150 to 250 kph at a lean angle of about 50°. This causes a significant increase in temperature on the side of the tyre affected by the lean, particularly for the rear tyre which must withstand the high heat while simultaneously ensuring strong lateral force and allowing the bike to accelerate. Therefore, with high running times and fixed lean angles (especially in the event of low grip) high spinning is generated as well as significant peaks in localised temperature at 45-50°C on the tyre shoulder. The weakening of the compound due to heat, even with smoother asphalt, causes significant levels of material removal. For this reason a significant amount of tyre wear can often by noted at the end of the races. The riders who are able to come out of this turn and onto the straight stretch at the highest speed will be able to gain a significant advantage over their rivals.

On the contrary, turns 5, 8, 11, 13 and 14 have a very tight radius (about 30 metres), which forces the rider to brake to an extremely low speed. Halfway through the turn the bike needs the rear tyre, which is very cold, to provide strong longitudinal acceleration up to 1G at a lean angle of 50°. The tyres are particularly cold, especially coming into the left handers (numbers 5 and 13). Once again, the riders who are able to accelerate a bit earlier than the others will have an important advantage.

While the rear tyre must go from low to extremely high temperatures, the front one has other, just as important, tasks to complete. It must be able to come into the turns mentioned above quickly and precisely. At the end of the straight stretch over the finish line, in other words, the first turn with the 100 metre radius which allows the riders to hold speeds greater than 100 kph, the front tyre is particularly stressed because it has to travel about 80 metres at a lean and with the rider on the brakes.

Taking the pre-summer heat into consideration, it will be very important to balance out these aspects when selecting the rear tyre: compound grip, wear resistance, elasticity of the tyre in the heat (to prevent de-compaction effects), movement in running and loss of support.

Speaking of this, for the Superbike class rear a new version of the SC0 range (S502) with the same compound will come alongside the standard version. This new version has higher thermal resistance and stability at higher temperatures.

Should the softer compound have problems with wear, two SC1 solutions will be available, both developed to improve thermal resistance and heat dissipation. These latter two solutions were already used at Phillip Island and Monza, where thermal resistance must be as high as possible.

Unlike the rear, which must handle little, but intense, mechanical/thermal stress, the front is constantly used in slow turns and turns with quick entry and small curvature radii. This forces the rider to brake sharply, even going downhill. Generally wear problems are not an issue on the front tyres, so often high grip (SC1) solutions are used. However, the important aspect to consider is how the front withstands the heat (a must for good precision), particularly when coming into the first turn.

If necessary another two compound variations of increasing solidity will be available in addition to the SC2 solution in order to cover the needs of the riders in the harshest braking situations as well.


Portimão from a technical point of view:

“This will be the first year racing on this track during the month of June and this obviously constitutes an unknown that should not be underestimated” Pirelli Moto Racing Director, Giorgio Barbier points out “because we may encounter quite high temperatures that we are not accustomed to and this could be a problem for the tyres, causing them to blister. Of course we have taken the necessary precautions and we will provide the riders with some development solutions in addition to the standard ones, both new and some already successfully used at Phillip Island and Monza. In fact, in addition to aiming toward constantly improving performance, our goal is also to always be able to provide the riders with a solution which will at least allow them to finish the race even in the most extreme conditions. That said, Portimão is still one of the nicest and most spectacular tracks in the World Superbike Championship with its up and downhill sections and its blind turns, so I am sure we will see some great races”.


Pirelli solutions for the Superbike and Supersport classes:

For the sixth round of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship Pirelli will be brining 4636 tyres to Portimão, a quantity capable of covering the needs of all four classes taking part in the Championship. Specifically, there will be 1630 tyres for the Superbike riders, 2016 for Supersport, 480 for Superstock 1000 and 510 for Superstock 600. Each Superbike rider will have 38 front and 40 rear tyres to choose from, whereas the Supersport riders will have 30 front and 26 rear tyres.

The riders in the top Superbike class will be able to count on 4 slick solutions for the front and 4 for the rear, in addition to a quantity of 2 per rider of the rear qualifier and the intermediate solutions, 4 for the front and as many for the rear, as well as 8 wet tyres for the front and 8 for the rear.

On the front the standard SC1 (R426) in soft compound (already brought to the first five rounds and ideal for low external temperatures and/or medium harsh tracks) will be joined by 3 SC2 compound solutions: the R982, which is the standard SC2 which has been brought to all the rounds this year, excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees a solid tread, the R1220, a development solutions that was already brought to both Phillip Island and Monza and the alternative to the standard SC2 solution which is a bit less robust and the R753, another development solution in alternative to the standard SC2, also brought to Phillip Island and Monza, even more robust than the R1220 and therefore better able to withstand the aggressive nature of the asphalt and more suited for riders who are hard on the brakes.

On the rear there will be two SC0 and two SC1 solutions. After the satisfaction it provided the riders at Monza and Donington, the standard SC0, (R1261) is confirmed as one of the best options in case of high temperatures. In fact, it is ideal for tackling smooth asphalt and high temperatures because it provides maximum contact area on smooth asphalt and maximum traction development at high temperatures, in addition to its greater performance stability under thermal decline. As an alternative to the standard tyre the riders will be able to opt for the S502, an SC0 development in soft compound that should guarantee greater performance stability, especially in the event of high temperatures. On the other hand, the SC1 are both development solutions: the R1255, a medium blend that was already brought to Phillip Island, should be more robust and consistent than the standard solutions usually used and capable of better dissipating the heat. The S514, which made its début at Monza, uses the same compound as the standard SC1 solution but it has a reinforced central strip and was designed with different internal materials in order to maintain particularly low operating temperatures. At Portimão, precisely because of the probability of high temperatures which could cause blistering, the same Superpole tyre (S516) with a reinforced central section compound already used in Monza will be present.

For the Supersport class there will be two standard solutions available for the front, the soft blend SC1 (P1177) and the medium compound SC2 (R1031) already used and brought to all the races so far in 2013. These will be joined by a new development solution, the S753, which falls about midway between the SC1 and SC2 in terms of compound hardness, providing more stability and rigidity than the SC1, but better grip than the SC2.
For the rear in the Supersport class as well there will be two SC0 development solutions available: the S510, ideal in cases of high temperature and already used at Monza, and the S523, a new option that uses the same compound as the S510 but works better when temperatures are particularly high. The standard SC1 solution (R303) joins these two solutions, already brought to all the rounds raced this year.


The 2012 Pirelli statistics for Portimão:

• Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4804

• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate, wet and qualifier only for rear) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 8 rear

• Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 5 rear

Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 34 front and 35 rear

• Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 24 front and 29 rear

• Superbike Best Lap Awards won by Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) in 1'56.477 (Race 1, 16th lap) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) in 1'44.578 (Race 2, 5th lap)

• Supersport Best Lap Awards won by: Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) in 1'47.416 (6th lap)

• Temperature in Race 1: air 21° C, asphalt 22° C

• Temperature in Race 2: air 25° C, asphalt 32° C

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli tyres: 302.5 km/h, Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) in Race 2 on the 17th lap.




More, from a press release issued by FIXI Crescent Suzuki:

FIXI Crescent Suzuki looking to realise its potential in Portimao

FIXI Crescent Suzuki is heading for the south of Portugal as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship makes the next stop on its tour at Portimao for round six of the series.

Leon Camier is travelling to the Portuguese circuit looking to put the disappointment he suffered last time out at Donington firmly behind him. The Englishman is now fully fit and is aiming at getting back to basics at a circuit that saw him cruelly robbed of a very possible podium last season. Camier was challenging for third as the final lap approached in 2012, but a technical issue forced him to retire at the start of the last lap. With the thought of what might have been still firmly in his mind and the desire to make amends for his crashes at Donington, Camier is clearly focused on the job ahead.

Jules Cluzel is returning to a circuit that saw him take third on the grid last season in the Supersport class, but he bettered that on race-day by taking victory in the 600cc category – his penultimate win of the season. The Frenchman has been producing solid performances on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R in his first season in the Superbike class and will be looking to find more speed in Portugal.

The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is one of the most modern tracks on the World Superbike calendar. Situated in the Algarve region of Southern Portugal, it was completed in 2008 and opened officially when it hosted the finale of the WSB championship that year. The layout of the 4,592m circuit is situated in hilly landscape and features many sections that rise and fall over the configuration. A number of changes in direction throughout the 15 corners, allied with some complex sections, a lot of long corners and a winding infield make the circuit a real challenge for riders and teams alike.

The sixth round of the World Superbike season will get underway on Friday with the first practice and qualifying sessions. Saturday morning will see Camier and Cluzel in a second qualifying session that will reduce the field to just 15-riders, who will then progress to Superpole. Sunday’s two races will be 22-laps long and will start at 12.00hrs local time (12.00hrs BST) and 15.30hrs local time (15.30hrs BST).

Leon Camier:
“I can’t wait to get back on the bike and hopefully make amends for what happened at Donington last weekend. I have been training hard and that’s all been going good, so I know my fitness is up there, now we need to bounce back and put the last race behind us. We’ll be looking to build the weekend up as it goes along and aim to get the FIXI Crescent Suzuki in to a strong position for race-day, we need to get back to our strengths and start pushing for some good results. I was unlucky at Portimao last year, because I was with Max Biaggi all the way and if I hadn’t had to retire I think I could have got third. I really like the Portimao track and my race-pace has always been pretty good there - we now need to get the bike feeling right, make sure I stay consistent and see what we can produce.”

Jules Cluzel:
“We will try and work in the same way that we did at Donington, but this time we really hope we can have some nice weather on Friday. This will help us to work on the bike and the set-up and get a good base for qualifying. It would be really nice to get a full weekend on the bike, because the more time I spend on the Suzuki GSX-R the better it is for me. I went very well at Portimao last year, it was my first time at the track and I was able to win the race, but this year it will be much tougher and it’s a very physical circuit so I will have to concentrate a lot. I am really excited about going there though and wish that it was Friday already!”




More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

Munich/Milan, 3rd June 2013. This weekend (7th to 9th June), the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team will be in action in the south of the Iberian peninsula. The “Autódromo Internacional do Algarve” near Portimão (POR) will host the sixth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. The first third of the season is already completed. After five rounds, factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) have claimed a total of seven podium finishes on their BMW S 1000 RRs, including three victories.

In the Riders’ classification, Marco is currently fourth with 127 points. Chaz follows directly behind, being fifth with 112 points. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW is third with 175 points, with a gap of 33 points to the lead. Last week, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team conducted two days of testing at Spanish “Motorland Aragón”. In preparation for the next rounds, Marco and Chaz tried several new settings and updated components.

After a four week break, the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup resumes at Portimão, contesting its fourth round of the season. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team and riders Sylvain Barrier (FRA) and Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) are eager to celebrate more successes with the brand new BMW HP4. After they were involved in a heavy crash at the previous round in Monza (ITA), both riders are fully fit and ready for the Portimão weekend.

Portimão from the rider’s point of view:
Marco Melandri:
“Portimão is a pretty technical track, similar to Assen and Donington. There are some very slow turns and some very fast corners. It is undulating with some blind crests. In general Portimão has a quite unique layout and consequently, it is not easy to find a good set-up. In addition, the track is very bumpy so we need to improve a bit more to be competitive. As it is very difficult to overtake there, it will be important for us to have a good qualifying.”

Chaz Davies:
“Portimão is a great circuit. Because of its character, it is one of my favourite tracks. It is difficult to find the right set-up but I always enjoy riding there and I have been competitive there in the past. It is fun as it has a lot of elevation changes, and some of them are quite steep. I am looking forward to the weekend. The first priority is not to encounter some of the issues we had at the last couple of races. Then my plan is to qualify well and to push for a podium.”

Portimão from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“After the Donington races we had two positive days of testing at Spanish Aragón last week. Even if we were a little bit hampered by the weather conditions, Marco and Chaz could test new solutions which will be useful at this next race weekend in Portimão. The Portuguese track is very technical, with uphill and downhill sections. For our riders it will be important to start the round with a good base in order to be able to continue their work over the weekend with confidence. We are sure that from the two days of testing we found the solutions we were looking for. Now we are focused on the next races.”


Portimão from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The whole team is looking forward to the next races in Portimão. It is a track where in the past we have shown a good speed but for a series of unlucky circumstances we did not claim the expected results. It is a very busy time for all our guys. After Donington, we went to Aragón for an important test where we could work on the main issues we had experienced in England. We have partly fixed or better understood them so we now want to see the results of this work in Portimão. Our competitors are becoming stronger and stronger so we must keep our heads down and work harder in order to improve the performance of our machine. Only in this way we will be able to maintain the competitiveness of our package and give our riders the chance to win races.

The Portuguese racetrack with its elevation changes and several uphill and downhill sections requires a lot of work, not only on finding the right chassis setting but also the right riding dynamic strategies. We need to find the best compromise between handling and stability, trying to keep our performance as consistent as possible. We expect that our RR will suit the characteristic of this racetrack as it has done in the past.”


Portimão from Pirelli’s point of view:
Since this is the first time the FIM World Superbike Championship will be held at Portimão in the month of June, Pirelli will be bringing various solutions, some of which were already used at Phillip Island and Monza, in SC0 and SC1 compounds which best adapt to operating in the heat. The Superbike class riders will be able to count on four slick solutions for the front and four for the rear, in addition to the qualifier, intermediate and wet solutions. On the front the standard SC1 (R426) in soft compound (already brought to the first five rounds and ideal for low external temperatures and/or medium harsh tracks) will be joined by three SC2 compound solutions: the R982, which is the standard SC2 which has been brought to all the rounds this year, excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees a solid tread, the R1220, a development solutions that was already brought to both Phillip Island and Monza and the alternative to the standard SC2 solution which is a bit less robust and the R753, another development solution in alternative to the standard SC2, also brought to Phillip Island and Monza, even more robust than the R1220 and therefore better able to withstand the aggressive nature of the asphalt and more suited for riders who are hard on the brakes.

On the rear there will be two SC0 and two SC1 solutions. The standard SC0, (R1261) is confirmed as one of the best options in case of high temperatures. In fact, it is ideal for tackling smooth asphalt and high temperatures because it provides maximum contact area on smooth asphalt and maximum traction development at high temperatures, in addition to its greater performance stability under thermal decline. As an alternative to the standard tyre the riders will be able to opt for the S502, an SC0 development in soft compound that should guarantee greater performance stability, especially in the event of high temperatures. On the other hand, the SC1 are both development solutions: the R1255, a medium blend that was already brought to Phillip Island, should be more robust and consistent than the standard solutions usually used and capable of better dissipating the heat. The S514, which made its debut at Monza, uses the same compound as the standard SC1 solution but it has a reinforced central strip and was designed with different internal materials in order to maintain particularly low operating temperatures. At Portimão, precisely because of the probability of high temperatures which could cause blistering, the same Superpole tyre (S516) with a reinforced central section compound already used in Monza will be present.


Background:
Portimão is a coastal town on the Algarve in the south of Portugal with a population of 50,000. It is located almost 300 kilometres south of the capital of Lisbon and about 70 kilometres west of Faro. Tourists love the picturesque region with its many beaches, impressive cliffs, golf courses and many other leisure opportunities. Portimão also enjoys a good reputation when it comes to motor racing. Its unique layout makes the “Autódromo Internacional do Algarve” popular among automobile drivers and motorcyclists alike. The circuit belongs to the “Algarve Motor Park”, which is also home to a kart track and a racing driver school.

It is located in the hilly countryside around Portimão and was inaugurated in the autumn of 2008 with the season finale of the Superbike World Championship. Many other motorbike and automobile championships also stage races there. The challenging layout and generally good weather conditions also make Portimão a popular test circuit.

Some riders regard Portimão as one of the nicest tracks in the world. Uphill and downhill sections, changes in direction and gradient, crests, some complex sections, a lot of long, quick corners and a winding infield make the circuit a real challenge for riders and teams alike. The riders must show plenty of courage to react aggressively, while riding ability and fitness are crucial. The teams must find the right compromise in the set-up of the bike. Good steering response is essential when accelerating out of the corners. In addition, the front wheels of the powerful superbikes can easily lose contact with the ground as they race over the crests. One key point is the final turn: here, it is important to take enough speed out of the corner and onto the start-finish straight, which is almost one kilometre in length.




More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

The sixth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at the “Autodromo Internacional do Algarve” in Portimao, Portugal over the weekend of June 7/8/9. Designed to be one of the best and most modern circuits in Europe, the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve benefits from the best conditions of safety and comfort both for drivers and the public. There are 64 different possible layouts of the circuit, including those that have already been approved by the FIA for Formula 1 and by the FIM for the World Superbike Championship races. The natural relief of the terrain enabled the creation of a unique circuit, with accentuated undulations, making driving a pleasure, since the curves and straights follow each other at an exciting rhythm with accentuated declines. For the public this characteristic is spectacular, allowing a wide view from any stand.

Circuit main characteristics:
Length: 4.592km
Pole Position: right
Corners 16
Superbike – lap record : Max Biaggi (Aprilia) – 2010 – 1’42”774
Superbike – best lap : Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) – 2012 – 1’41”415

After Davide Giugliano’s convincing performance during the Donington race weekend just two weeks ago, team Althea Racing is optimistic about the Portimao round, and plans to confirm the progress made so far in this season’s championship. On the Portuguese track, that suits the characteristics of the Aprilia RSV4, Genesio Bevilacqua’s team will work hard to achieve the best possible results while Giugliano hopes to gain valuable points with which to improve his position in the championship standings.

Davide Giugliano: “The Portimao round is one of my favourites because I really like the track and it’s always nice to spend a few days in the Algarve. I hope that Portugal will bring us favourable conditions and some hot weather at last. After the two Donington races we are even more convinced about our capabilities and possibilities. I hope to be in the leading group at Portimao, making the most of my RSV4’s great potential. I’m not setting a specific objective, other than to give it my all and achieve good results, for me and my team.”




More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

WSBK ready for Portimao rollercoaster

Rome (Italy), Monday 3 June 2013 – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship heads to the magnificent shores of Algarve for Round 6, that will take place the upcoming weekend at Portimao's Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. The Portuguese track made its debut onto the WSBK scene in 2008 – not long after its completion - and it has been a permanent fixture of the calendar since then.

The track is a riders’ favourite thanks to the challenging, fast and undulating layout that gives a unique character and offers great racing. The "man on a mission" Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who ended up last year 1st and 3rd – after securing the top slot on the grid in the Tissot-Superpole – he’s now looking forward to building on the momentum he gained after dominating the European Round at Donington Park.

Double podium finisher in UK Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) still holds the lead in Riders Standings, despite not climbing onto the top step of the podium from the very first race of the season at Phillip Island. He was 3rd at the end of Race 1 last year and in 2011, after being edged out twice from second place by Carlos Checa. Team mate Eugene Laverty scored last time out at Portimao a late first – and only one – race win of his maiden season with Aprilia.

Following a weather-hampered two-day test at Aragon last week, BMW official riders will aim for strong results after the mixed feelings of the past event. Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies – who won 3 out of 10 races so far in the season – are currently 46 and 61 points behind the leader and desperately looking to make up ground at Portimao. In 2012 Melandri had a nightmare weekend, ruining his World Title chase as he crashed out of Race 1 – injuring his back - and was forced to withdraw from the following one.

While Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) had to sit out of the last two races due to his left leg injury – despite his efforts to be on track in front of his home crowd – fellow Brit Jonathan Rea tried everything he could to resurrect the flagging fortunes of the Team in 2013 and he is now looking forward to trying his very best again on the venue that saw his first WSBK appearance in 2008. Haslam, on the other hand, is continuing his rehabilitation hoping to be fit enough to race this weekend.

Team Ducati Alstare is back to a two-rider line-up after Niccolò Canepa's one-off ride at Donington. Carlos Checa is still dealing with the osseus edema on the head of his left humerus, that forced him to withdraw from Donington second race, and is about to face another physically demanding track. The Spaniard’s only victory on the Portuguese track dates back to 2011 (Race 1).

Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) had one of the best performances of the past season last year at Portimao in Race 2, when he fought hard against former team mate Max Biaggi for 3rd place until a technical problem ruled him out of the race, on the penultimate lap. Although last year’s unfortunate events, Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) has fond memories of the track that hosted his World Superbike debut in 2011, straight after his coronation as FIM Superstock 1000 Cup Champion.

Standings - provisional* (round 5 of 15): 1. Guintoli 173; 2. Sykes 169; 3. Laverty 149; 4. Melandri 127; 5. Davies 112; 6. Baz 95; 7. Rea 89; 8. Fabrizio 86; 9. Giugliano 72; 10. Cluzel 55; 11. Camier 49; 12. Neukirchner 45; 13. Badovini 37; 14. Checa 33; 15. Haslam 29; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 208; 2. Kawasaki 180; 3. BMW 175; 4. Honda 96; 5. Suzuki 82; 6. Ducati 65.

* Possible updated results could be defined by the International Disciplinary Court which is dealing with the appeal lodged by Aprilia Racing Team and rider Sylvain Guintoli, following the decision taken by the FIM Stewards in Monza (Italian Round, last 12 May) to cancel the drop of position sanction (from third to fourth place in race 2) imposed by the Race Direction on rider Tom Sykes.

World Supersport

There is no better place than Portimao for Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), currently ranked 2nd in the points, to try and stop Sam Lowes’ impressive momentum. The Reigning Champion was victorious in three of the four races he’s tackled on the Portuguese track, even in 2008 when he marked his return to the series by taking Jonathan Rea’s place for the Season Finale.

It won’t be an easy task for the three-time Supersport Champion, as Lowes has won the last three races and now leads the Riders Standings with a 30 points margin. The Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha rider put up an outstanding performance last time out at Donington Park dominating the whole weekend in flawless fashion.

Mahi Racing Team India’s Fabien Foret aims to bounce back following some difficult results in the last two rounds. The French veteran scored his only rostrum finish at Portimao last year, third at the chequered flag behind race winner Jules Cluzel and 2013 team mate Sofuoglu.

After injuring himself during a motocross training session before his home race at Aragon and missing four rounds, Spaniard David Salom (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) will make his comeback at Portimao to join team mate Luca Scassa.

Miguel Praia will be lining up for Team Honda Lorini, to take the seat left empty by the return of Alex Baldolini to Team Suriano, for a one-off on his home track. The former Supersport regular rider, who is racing full-time in Brazil, hopes to quickly get to grips with the 600cc Honda of the Italian squad.

Standings (round 5 of 14): 1. Lowes 95; 2. Sofuoglu 65; 3. Foret 61; 4. Zanetti 53; 5. Vd Mark 49; 6. Scassa 45; 7. Rolfo 38; 8. Antonelli 37; 9. Kennedy 34; 10. Marino 31; 11. Russo 28; 12. Coghlan 22; 13. Leonov 21; 14. Morais 19; 15. Ivanov 18. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 110; 2. Yamaha 103; 3. Honda 78; 4. MV Agusta 38; 5. Suzuki 9; 6. Triumph 6.

Superstock 1000

This year’s FIM Superstock 1000 Cup is proving to be extremely challenging, as the top-4 in the standings is within 8 points of each other and there have been three different race winners out of the three rounds held so far – all on different machinery.

Championship leader Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Ducati) is looking forward to taking his first victory of the season – the last one was in 2007 at Brands Hatch - following the excellent results of his One Event participation at Donington Park, with Team Ducati Alstare, in the Superbike class.
The 23 year old Italian will have to defend his position by team mate Eddi La Marra and Frenchmen duo of defending Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki). Latest race winner Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) will aim for a repeat performance to keep his title chances alive.

Standings (round 3 of 10): 1. Canepa 52; 2. La Marra 49; 3. Barrier 45; 4. Guarnoni 44; 5. Mercado 36; 6. Savadori 33; 7. Lanusse 29; 8. Jezek 24; 9. Bussolotti 19; 10. Lussiana 15; 11. Bergman 15; 12. Magnoni 11; 13. Ferrer 7; 14. Gildenhuys 6; 15. Andreozzi 6. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 61; 2. BMW 56; 3. Kawasaki 54; 4. Honda 6; 5. Suzuki 5.

Superstock 600

After seeing his winning streak coming to an end on the soaked wet Monza track three weeks ago, Gauthier Duwelz (MTM-MVR Racing Yamaha) hopes to reinstate himself as the man to beat in 2013 Superstock 600 European Championship. Last year the Belgian talent was edged out from 3rd place at Portimao by team mate Adrian Nestorovic, as the Australian rode to his first ever STK600 podium finish. Supersport debutant at Donington Park Tony Covena (Nito Racing Kawasaki) is looking forward to mixing up at the front too, as well as Italian round winner Nicola Morrentino (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) and Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Honda).

Standings (round 3 of 10): 1. Duwelz 57; 2. Chesaux 40; 3. Coveña 39; 4. Morrentino 33; 5. Nestorovic 31; 6. Morbidelli 29; 7. Mulhauser 24; 8. Salvadori 22; 9. Gamarino 20; 10. Tessels 19; 11. Tuuli 17; 12. Tatasciore 16; 13. Nocco 15; 14. Casalotti 15; 15. Schmitter 13; etc.