Jonathan Rea has picked up where he left off with a trouble-free victory in the Portimao opener to further extend his World Superbike championship lead to over 100 points.
The #65 clinched his 65th career World Superbike victory with a flawless performance at the Portuguese circuit comfortably ahead of Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Marco Melandri. Rea, who won five out of six races going into the summer break, now leads the championship by 104 points from Chaz Davies.
Davies battled through the discomfort of a broken collarbone sustained just three weeks ago while training at Aragon to take fourth place but 10 seconds off Rea by the chequered flag.
Melandri had been under huge pressure for second place during the opening half of race one from Lorenzo Savadori but the Milwaukee Aprilia rider crashed out at the start of lap 12 at Turn 1 while chasing his fellow Italian.
Savadori’s off promoted Pata Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark on to the podium with third place comfortably ahead of Davies.
Tom Sykes, who is also battling back from injury, had to settle for fifth place on the Kawasaki ahead of Althea BMW’s Loris Baz.
Jordi Torres, who is set for his MotoGP debut next weekend at Aragon as replacement rider at Avintia Ducati, saw his MV Agusta home in seventh place after being caught by Baz with four laps to go.
Toprak Razgatlioglu claimed top independent honours for Puccetti Kawasaki in eighth place as Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) rounded out the top ten.
In a race of high attrition, Lenadro Mercado was promoted to 11th place for Orelac Racing Kawasaki with Yonny Hernandez (Pedercini Kawasaki), Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda) and Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) completing the finishers.
Pole-sitter Eugene Laverty saw his race ended by the third corner when he was taken out by Xavi Fores on the Barni Ducati, who out-braked himself and collected the Milwaukee Aprilia rider on the opening lap, while both PJ Jacobsen (TripleM Honda) and Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda) were forced to retire with separate technical issues.