WSB

Rea fires out warning to end winter WorldSBK testing on top

Jonathan Rea goes almost a full second clear of his World Superbike rivals at the final day of the Portimao pre-season test

World Superbike testing results from day two at Portimao

Jonathan Rea has bolted almost a full second clear of his World Superbike rivals at the final day of the Portimao pre-season test.

The Kawasaki rider had led the majority of Monday’s testing action with a 1m 41.187s, a lap set while he was thought to be on the new Superpole race tyre provided by Pirelli for Sunday’s new sprint races, before upping his pace on a qualifying tyre to produce a 1m 40.855s.

The reigning World Superbike champion’s time put 0.959s on nearest rival Alex Lowes on the Pata Yamaha to send out a warning of his potential pace ahead of the 2019 campaign.

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Lowes has continued to impress for the factory Yamaha squad after a strong Portimao test, but did suffer a small technical issue early into Monday’s action, only to hold on to second spot on the times by 0.120s from Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista.

Leon Haslam claimed fourth on the times for the Kawasaki Racing Team as he got up to speed back in World Superbikes for 2019, with Pata Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark rounding out the top five.

After unveiling the 2019 BMW WorldSBK Team livery at Portimao, Tom Sykes ended the final day at the Portuguese test sixth on the times and ahead of GRT Yamaha pair Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese.

Puccetti Kawasaki’s Toprak Razgatlioglu grabbed ninth place before a significant time split to the second factory BMW rider Markus Reiterberger and Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies, with the latter having suffered with back pain at last week’s Jerez test.

Customer Ducati duo Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni) and Eugene Laverty (Team Go Eleven) claimed 15th and 16th on the timesheet respectively, with Alessandro Delbianco on the Althea Mie Racing Team Honda rounding out the Superbike runners at Portimao.

Moriwaki-Althea Honda continue to remain absent from the World Superbike official tests as it sticks to its testing programme in Asia ahead of the 2019 season opener in Australia.

The new World Superbike championship gets underway at Phillip Island on February 22-24, which has precursor of a final pre-season test at the Australian track on February 18-19.

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