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Sep 14, 2018

World Superbike: Marco Melandri Leads FP3, Jonathan Rea Fastest Overall Friday In Portugal (Updated)

Marco Melandri (33).

Nolan Portuguese Round

Motul FIM Superbike World Championship

Autodromo Internacional do Algarve

Portimao, Portugal

September 14, 2018

Free Practice Three Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Marco Melandri, Italy (Duc Panigale R), 1:42.003

2. Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:42.366

3. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:42.383

4. Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Apr RSV4 RF), 1:42.423

5. Xavi Fores, Spain (Duc Panigale R), 1:42.441

6. Tom Sykes, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:42.459

7. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), 1:42.557, crash

8. Jordi Torres, Spain (MV Agusta F4 RC), 1:42.630

9. Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), 1:42.669

10. Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Ducati Panigale R), 1:42.778

11. Loris Baz, France (BMW S1000RR), 1:42.787

12. Leon Camier, UK (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 1:42.883

13. Jake Gagne, USA (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 1:42.921

14. Lorenzo Savadori, Italy (Apr RSV4 RF), 1:43.070, crash

15. Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:43.569

16. Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale R), 1:43.813, crash

17. Yonny Hernandez, Colombia (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:44.179

18. PJ Jacobsen, USA (Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 1:44.501

19. Roman Ramos, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:44.612

20. Jakub Smrz, Czech Republic (Yam YZF-R1), 1:45.716

Free Practice One, Two And Three Combined Results (top 10 advance directly to Superpole Two):

1. Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:41.817

2. Marco Melandri, Italy (Duc Panigale R), 1:42.003

3. Jordi Torres, Spain (MV Agusta F4 RC), 1:42.333

4. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:42.383

5. Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Apr RSV4 RF), 1:42.423

6. Xavi Fores, Spain (Duc Panigale R), 1:42.441

7. Tom Sykes, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:42.459

8. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), 1:42.557

9. Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), 1:42.669

10. Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Ducati Panigale R), 1:42.778

11. Loris Baz, France (BMW S1000RR), 1:42.787

12. Leon Camier, UK (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 1:42.883

13. Jake Gagne, USA (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 1:42.921

14. Lorenzo Savadori, Italy (Apr RSV4 RF), 1:42.969

15. Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale R), 1:43.325

16. Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:43.569

17. PJ Jacobsen, USA (Honda CBR1000RR SP2), 1:43.876

18. Yonny Hernandez, Colombia (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:44.028

19. Roman Ramos, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:44.343

20. Jakub Smrz, Czech Republic (Yam YZF-R1), 1:45.716

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team:

Camier and Gagne aiming for improvement at Portimão

Portuguese Round

Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal

The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team endured a challenging start to the Portimão round of the WorldSBK championship as Leon Camier and Jake Gagne narrowly missed out on qualifying directly for Superpole 2.

In an extremely competitive day of action, only one second separated the top 12 riders around the 4.6 kilometre long Portimao circuit on combined times with Camier and Gagne finishing in twelfth and thirteenth place respectively.

Camier’s best time of 1’42.883 saw him miss out on a top ten position by just one tenth of a second, while Gagne’s best time of 1’42.921 also saw him narrowly miss out on a first Superpole 2 berth of the season. Both riders will now focus on finishing in the top two in tomorrow’s Superpole 1 session.

Despite neither rider finishing inside the top ten, there were positives to take away from the day as each rider showed promising pace in different parts of the circuit. Gagne was the second quickest rider through the final sector, while Camier exhibited strong pace in sectors one and two.

Drawing on the data from both riders today, the team are confident of unlocking more performance from the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 for qualifying and race 1 tomorrow.

The next session at Portimão is Free Practice 4 tomorrow at 0845 local time (GMT +1), with the Superpole sessions starting at 1030 before Race 1 commences at 1300.

Leon Camier 2

The first two sessions today were a bit of a struggle, but we finally found a better direction for the bike setting in the final session and I was able to improve. Unfortunately though, I couldn't put together the perfect lap in FP3 so we have to go through Superpole 1. We just need to refine our settings overnight and continue the direction we found in FP3 and I need to find some time in the last two sectors. If we can do that I think we'll be able to do much better in qualifying and the race tomorrow.

Jake Gagne 45

It was a pretty good start for me and definitely having done all those laps in testing meant that I had a good setting from the start. The times are really close so I hope that I can make a small jump tomorrow to help me get to my first Superpole 2 session. The Fireblade is really liking the two fast right hand corners in the final sector, I just now need to work now on the stop and go sections of the track. Overall though I feel in really good shape for the race tomorrow.

Kervin Bos

Team Manager

It's a mixed day for the team as on the one hand, Jake had perhaps his strongest Friday of the season so far but for Leon it was a bit of a challenge. However, we made more progress than the timesheet suggests, as both riders are just a few tenths off where we hoped to be and we know the areas we need to improve. Jake was second quickest in the final sector, which is where Leon struggled, while Leon was quick in the first two sectors where Jake wasn't strong so we should be able to identify how to help both riders tomorrow. We know where we need to improve and will be aiming for a much better performance in qualifying and the race.

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:

 #PortimaoWorldSBK Day 1: Rea stamps authority on opening day at Portimao

Return to the track welcomes return to stunning action in WorldSBK

Rea tackles the rollarcoaster WorldSBK circuit on Friday

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) completed a triumphant return to competition on Friday at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve by scoring the fastest time for the day in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Rea’s FP1 time of 1’41.817 was enough to guarantee him the top spot ahead of Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati), fastest in FP3 and Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).

The Northern Irishman couldn’t match his morning pace but still topped the overall timesheets for Friday with a blistering lap of 1’41.817. Second in the third session, Rea was beaten to the top in the closing minutes by Melandri. The Italian managed to step up in FP3 after a promising day’s work and looks fiercer than ever at the Portuguese rollercoaster, as he faces his last four rounds with the Racing – Ducati team.

Third of the day was Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) with one of his strongest performances of the year. Just half a second behind Rea, the Spaniard rode more laps than anyone on Friday - as he did at the official test three weeks ago - and showed encouraging signs for the weekend.

After languishing near the bottom of the standings in FP1 and FP2, everything seemed to click in the end for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) as he took fourth position with his fastest FP3 lap, as well as the leading independent rider spot.

Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) ended Friday in fifth place, putting his RSV4 again amongst the frontrunners and showing promising pace throughout the day; as did Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team), with the Spaniard in sixth place at the chequered flag.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) improved his pace in the final Friday session but could only finish seventh on the combined timesheets, ahead of the two Yamahas of Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team). A late crash for the Dutchman didn’t affect his qualification for tomorrow’s Superpole 2, while Lowes, who turns 28 today, left it late but eventually got the job done with the ninth best lap. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Junior Team) completed the top ten on Friday.

An already difficult day for Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) took a turn for the worse in FP3, as a crash and fire in his Panigale R left him out of action and having to qualify from tomorrow’s Superpole 1. Luckily the Welshman, who has recently recovered from successive collarbone injuries, walked away from the incident unharmed.

The WorldSBK riders will get the ball rolling on Saturday with the Superpole 1, starting at 10:30 local time (09:30 GMT)!

More, from a press release issued by Gulf Althea BMW Racing:

Curtains up at Portimao for the tenth WorldSBK round

Portimao (Portugal), Friday 14 September 2018

After an extended summer break, the Gulf Althea BMW Racing team is finally back on track at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal for round ten of the World Superbike Championship and round seven of the European Superstock1000 championship.

SBK: the three practice sessions proved very useful for rider Loris Baz. During the opening session, the Frenchman started working with his technicians to adapt his BMW S 1000 RR to the technical track, setting a best time of 1’43.277 and positioning twelfth. The Gulf Althea BMW rider used the second practice to make further changes, focusing on bike set-up rather than lap times. The final session gave Loris and the team the chance to evaluate the changes made. The rider was able to lower his time by roughly half a second, closing day one with a best of 1’42.787. A result that saw Baz finish in eleventh place, just missing out on entry to Superpole2; he will therefore take part in tomorrow’s Superpole1.

Loris Baz:

“I’m not totally happy but, seeing as we’ve been away from the bike for two and a half months without testing, I guess we’re not doing badly. I’m only disappointed that I missed out on Superpole2 by just a fraction, I had a technical issue on those laps and just missed the kind of lap time I needed to get through to the second phase. I hope I can get there tomorrow anyway, before scoring some solid points in race one.”

More, from a press release issued by Racing Ducati:

The Racing - Ducati team back in action at Portimão: Melandri 2nd in free-practice, Davies (15th) hindered by a technical problem

The Racing - Ducati team took it back to the track at Portimão (Portugal), home of the tenth round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship, for Friday's free-practice sessions. In perfect summer weather, Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies moved forward with the setup of their Panigale R on the rollercoaster-like Portuguese track, which hosted a two-day collective test at the end of August. Melandri, who was fast also during the tests, finished in second position with a personal best of 1:42.003. Still not in optimal shape physically, Davies posted the 15th best time with a 1:43.325, also hindered by a technical problem occurred during FP3, which resulted in an innocuous crash that forced the Welshman to close his session ahead of time.

The Racing - Junior Team also resumed action with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who reached the penultimate round of his rookie season in the top class. The young Italian took one second off his best time through the day to finish in 10th position with a personal best of 1:42.778. The Racing - Ducati team and the Racing - Junior Team will be back on track tomorrow at 08:45 local time (CET -1) for a last free-practice session ahead of Superpole and Race 1, which is scheduled to start at 13:00.

Marco Melandri ( Racing - Ducati #33) – 1:42.003 (2nd)

"It's been a good day for us. First of all, it's always nice to get back on the bike after a long break. Track conditions were a bit faster compared with the recent tests we've done here and we worked well together with the team, even though we still need to make a few improvements to match Rea's pace. Tomorrow we need to be quick during Superpole to start at the top, then we'll have to stay focused because we struggled a bit in turn 1 today, making a few mistakes. That said, I have very positive sensations."

Chaz Davies ( Racing - Ducati #7) – 1:43.325 (15th)

"We just tried to build our way into the round and make small steps with the setup, given my current physical condition. But, as expected, it wasn't a particularly easy day for us. Unfortunately we also suffered a technical problem in FP3, which set us back a little bit further but luckily it didn't make the collarbone worse. Physically I don’t feel too bad, but I'm not at my 100 percent either. Now I’m going to get the shoulder treated and crunch the data with the crew to make sure we start off with the right foot tomorrow morning and get closer to the top."

Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing - Junior Team #21) – 1:42.778 (10th)

"Today was quite positive for us. We worked hard on race pace and then took advantage of FP3 to gain direct access to Q2, meeting our objective. We still have room for improvement, and we'll focus on some specific details to pick up the pace tomorrow. The goal is to score our best result to date, we still need a few tenths but hopefully we'll find them tomorrow morning. I'm confident."

Weekend schedule (CET -1):

Saturday (September 15th)

08:45 - 09:05 SBK FP4

10:30 - 10:45 SBK Superpole 1

10:55 - 11:10 SBK Superpole 2

13:00 SBK Race 1

Sunday (September 16th)

10:10 - 10:25 SBK Warm-up

15:15 SBK Race 2

More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing Team:

WorldSBK: Forés took the top 6 in free practice at Portimao

Portimao (POR), 14th September 2018. The Barni Racing Team had an encouraging start to the Nolan Portuguese weekend, securing the sixth position in the combined Friday free practice timesheets, only one tenth of a second far from third.

In the round 10 of MOTUL FIM WorldSBK Championship Forès scored his fastest time in FP3 lapping in 1’42.441.

Forés found a good feeling at the recent private test here in Portimao, and he continued the positive vibes this morning in FP1. The Spaniard was fourth by his 1’42.752, while in the second session he tested some new setting solutions which made him more comfortable in the, bike but he didn’t was able to improve the time due to hot temperature (32°C in the air, 40à C in the asphalt).

In the third and last session Forés was able to cut down his fastest lap and get the direct access to the Superpole 2 tomorrow which will be on stage at 10.55 (local hour).

Marco Barnabò, Principal Manager

"Even if we suffered setup problem in the faster corner of the track, I can say it was a good day for us. Normally we struggle a lot with hot temperatures, on the contrary - today - Xavi was fast even with more than 30° degrees. I think for tomorrow we can have a step forward to be competitive in the leading group."

Xavi Forés, #12

"It was a very good Friday. Especially in the last session we did a good step forward in our setup. It’s not the 100% for tomorrow but my pace it’s really good. If you compare my last appearance here we did a big improvement and I’m confident for the two races. I’m almost sure to be able to fight for the top 5."

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Rea Fastest As Sykes Comes Back In Seventh

Jonathan Rea (KRT) finished fastest rider of all on the first day of competitive WorldSBK action after the long summer break, with his team-mate Tom Sykes coming back from recent injury at high pace, to go seventh fastest overall.

Setting a 1.41.817 lap time that was well under the lap record pace on race tyres, championship leader Rea made the most of improved track conditions compared to an official Portimao test session held only last month. He set his fastest Friday time on the Ninja ZX-10RR in the very first session, using settings he and the technical staff had evaluated at the tests.

After suffering ligament damage to his ankle in a recent sports training accident Sykes made his return to competitive action at Portimao having missed the August test session through injury. He felt immediately at home on the Ninja ZX-10RR, and was third fastest after FP1. He only dropped down the final Friday ranking as he did not resort to using fresh tyres near the end of FP3.

It was a productive and positive first day in Portugal for both KRT riders, even though they had to deal with a red flag stoppage shortly after the start of FP3. Rea also had a slow speed fall in FP2, but thanks to quick work from his team he was able to get back into action at high pace after his machine was repaired.

Both KRT riders have qualified directly for Superpole 2 on Saturday which will determine their final starting positions for race one, scheduled to start at 13.00 Portuguese time. Race two will take place on Sunday the 16th of September, in an unusual 15.15 time slot.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) put on an excellent display of improvement today as he finished up fourth fastest, having started his day 11th. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 16th fastest today, Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 18th and Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 19th.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “To do 1’41 laps on race tyres already is quite fast, so I was really happy. Unfortunately in the last session we got a red flag during a race simulation I had just started, so we were not able to put together an uninterrupted long run. But we have enough information to go into tomorrow and understand the tyres. In the last session we were able to put a lot of laps into the tyre to make our decision. The track has a lot of grip this weekend compared to the test two weeks ago. It is in much better shape and there are more bikes on the track than there were at the test.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “In the first session I could not believe it because I felt at home straight away. I was enjoying myself and went up to P2 after just a couple of laps. After session one I was stiff, but I have to thank all the doctors and physios. After a little siesta before FP3, I rolled out again and we just stayed on one tyre. I was happy with the performance although we dropped down the order - but that was because we did not use a fresh tyre at the end. In reality I was impressed with the lap times we did towards the end of the last session.”

More, from a press release issued by Milwaukee Aprilia:

Pole position shootout for Milwaukee Aprilia after strong Portimao Free Practice

Autodromo Internacional do Algarve 14 / 09 / 2018

Free Practice Report #PortimaoWorldSBK

Milwaukee Aprilia made a strong start in Round 10 of the Superbike World championship at Portimao, securing another automatic pole shootout entry.

The team finished Friday’s Free Practice an encouraging P5 with Eugene Laverty, while teammate Lorenzo Savadori had a tougher day at the office and finished P14.

Work on the balance of his bike gave Eugene a solid platform to work with, which he used to set a series of consistent race runs and laps to finish in the top six with a shot at pole position.

Lorenzo struggled to find rhythm with his bike meanwhile, despite setting the third fastest time in the second practice session. A small crash in FP3 on the oil dropped by Chaz Davies’s fall set Lorenzo back a little for repairs, but the team were able to repair his bike in time to gather more data. With a chance for more running in FP4 ahead of Superpole 1, Lorenzo has a good opportunity to join his teammate in the pole position fight.

Three weeks on from the mid-season test at Portimao in August, the team have taken a big step forward in pace and look set to offer a serious challenge to the front end of the grid for points on Saturday and Sunday.

Free Practice 4 at #PortimaoWorldSBK takes place on Saturday 15th September at 08:45 local time (GMT +1), ahead of Superpole at 10:30 and Race 1 at 13:00.

Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF

FP1: 1'42.778 - P6

FP2: 1'43.152 - P7

FP3: 1'42.423 - P4

Combined result: 1'42.423 - P5

Superpole 2 automatic entry

"This was a really good day, especially compared to the test here last month; it’s been an incredible effort by the team. On my first flying lap today I went quicker than I did after 150 test laps, so I’m really happy with how the guys turned the bike around. They studied what was different on the bike this year compared to 2017, where we flew in the races.

In both tests since at Portimao we’ve struggled, and we’re lucky we had the test to realise that and put ourselves back in the action. At the test it felt like I was riding around the front wheel at the test and it wasn’t doing anything. The guys managed to get the balance better then and even more so today, and I finally feel like I’ve got the bike back in good form.

I’ll be aiming for a front row in Superpole 2 tomorrow, at least I can control where I start for Race 1. It will be a hard fight for the top three I’m sure, but a podium in the race would be great and to continue the streak of podiums from the last two rounds."

Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF

FP1: 1'43.454 - P14

FP2: 1'42.969 - P3

FP3: 1'43.070 - P14

Combined result: 1'42.969 - P14

Superpole 1 entry

"It was a very strange day, unfortunately in FP3 I crashed on the oil from Chaz [Davies], and I lost some time for repairs. In general I am of course not very happy with P14, we need to make a big step for tomorrow.

For me the track feels different this weekend to the test last month, and it is worse for me on the bike. I’m not sure why but for sure we need to investigate it and improve my rhythm.

The first goal of course is to try and make SP2, it will not be easy with Chaz also in SP1 but if we have a good bike then we can fight for a good start position. For the race, I will wait to see how Superpole goes first but I hope we can get a strong points position."

More, from a press release issued by Team MV Agusta Reparto Corse:


The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship reaches the final stage of the season, with the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve Portimao hosting the tenth round of the series.

Jordi Torres finished a combined P3 and earned another Tissot-Superpole2 entry in WorldSBK class. Official MV Agusta Reparto Corse duo in WorldSSP Ayrton Badovini and Raffaele De Rosa finished free practice sessions 9th and 14th respectively, with De Rosa struggling because of a crash during the FP2.

WorldSBK – FP1, FP2, FP3

Jordi Torres opened the first day of qualifying getting the 2nd fastest lap time in the FP1 morning session, standing out in the final stage with a 1’42.333s lap time, half a second far from the World Champion Jonathan Rea. In the FP2 the Spaniard still holds tight the second place behind Rea. In the third and last round Jordi will be forced to give up only one position a few minutes before the end of the session, gaining access to Superpole2 with the 3rd fastest time of the day (1’42.333s).

WorldSSP – FP1, FP2

Raffaele De Rosa showed up at the start of the tenth round of the WorldSSP Championship with a series of 5 consecutive podiums obtained in the last 5 races, a sign of the excellent feeling he got with his MV Agusta F3 675. In the first day of testing the Italian wasn’t able to fully express his potential because of a crash during the FP2 session, ending up 14th in the combined time sheet.

Ayrton Badovini has consistently set time into the top ten area and manages to finish 9th at the end of the qualifying day, entering the Saturday’s Tissot-Superpole2.

Jordi Torres – Today we have been very consistent since the very first moments and we were able to always lap really fast. In the afternoon we tried different solutions with the tires, looking for an alternative that would allow us to be faster and more consistent at the same time. The work with the bike seems to be moving in the right direction and if we will continue on this path I am confident that tomorrow we can grab some good results, even if the tire duration will make a big difference.

Raffaele De Rosa – Too bad, today I made a mistake and I crashed, wasting the chance to enter the Superpole2. Up to that point I felt I could make it but the crash prevented us from improving. The team is now working hard to get the bike back and tomorrow I will do my best to stay up front.

Ayrton Badovini – It was a very positive day and it was great to be able to get back on the bike after such a long break. Our first target was to enter the Top 10 and we definitely made it. We have a good base and we are doing a great job, I am confident that tomorrow we will be able to take another step forward.

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