Rea unstoppable in Portimao but Bautista primed to attack

Jonathan Rea eases to another lights-to-flag win in Portimao as Alvaro Bautista climbs to second to set up a showdown for the final race of the WorldSBK weekend

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10RR

Jonathan Rea was once again in imperious form as he rattled off his 11th WorldSBK victory of the season in the Portimao Superpole Race with a comfortable lights-to-flag display.

After his dominant win in race one on Saturday, Rea got his Sunday underway in similarly fine fashion with another perfect start from pole position to take the lead into turn one. 

Quickly establishing a lead of around two seconds to the chasing pack, it was an advantage he’d control to the chequered flag to yet again extend his championship lead over Alvaro Bautista.

Another fairly eventful race for the Spaniard – who finished fourth in race one from running as low at 17th early on – a cautious Bautista slipped from sixth to ninth initially through the first turns, but assisted by the devastatingly quick straight-line speed advantage of the Ducati down the home straight hauled himself back up to second place.

Producing similar lap times to Rea in clear air, Bautista will now look to get one over on the Kawasaki rider in race two when they start alongside each other on the front row this time.  

Lowes bounces back, Davies struggles

Alex Lowes completed the podium with a much more convincing Sunday morning display than he managed in race one, while Toprak Razgatlioglu shrugged off his lowly starting position again with an aggressive first few laps to get up to fourth place, ahead of Kawasaki counterpart Leon Haslam.

Michael van der Mark steadily made gains to sixth position, ahead of Tom Sykes, who ran second early on but dropped back to seventh as the BMW’s top speed disadvantage became clear in race conditions. 

Yamaha’s Sandro Cortese and Loris Baz finished eighth and ninth to assure their spot on the third row for race two, but there was disappointment for Chaz Davies who – after finishing second in race one – made little progress in the Superpole Race on the way to tenth.