World Superbike Portimao Results 2014

July 6, 2014
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
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Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

World Superbike riders were thoroughly challenged at Portimao thanks to fluctuating weather conditions which provided one dry and one wet race. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes was dominant in the dry Race 1, winning ahead of Aprilia Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli in second and Kawasaki teammate, Loris Baz in third. Race 2 was completely saturated and Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea took advantage of the conditions to earn his fourth win of the year. Ducati’s Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies scored second and third, respectively.

Race 1

Rea was fast off the start, taking the opening turns of Race 1 in the lead but was pursued closely by Guintoli’s teammate, Marco Melandri, and Sykes. Davies, Baz and Guintoli were near as well, filling out the fourth, fifth and sixth positions.

Positions shuffled throughout the top-10 during the initial laps, with Sykes pulling ahead of Melandri and both riders making quick work of Rea on Lap 4. Baz was working his way up the ranks and had reached fourth at this point, and then on Lap 7 got ahead of Rea for third-place. Rea couldn’t compete against the outright power of the Kawasakis and Aprilias and soon Guintoli was able to get past the Honda man as well into fourth.

At the front, Sykes passed Melandri and started to slowly stretch a gap. Baz was pushing hard too and made it ahead of the Italian for second, but couldn’t shake Melandri as the race reached mid-point. Guintoli was in the mix as well, and by Lap 12 the three riders were swapping position numerous times in the fight for the runner-up spot.

Lap 12 was also pivotal for Davies and Rea’s teammate, Leon Haslam. The two were in fifth and sixth, but holding close to the podium fight just ahead. Haslam took an inside line on Davies and it appeared the Ducati rider realized the move too late, the two making contact mid-corner and going down.

The following lap saw the first signs of the wet weather to come as rain spotted portions of the track. Warning flags were raised but none were forced to pit as a few laps later the moisture had stopped. Pace slowed for some at this point though, and Sykes’ gap was cut down slightly as Guintoli, Baz and Melandri pushed to make up ground. Further back Rea, Giugliano and Voltcom Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty were in close quarters with Laverty’s teammate, Alex Lowes keeping in touch in eighth. Kawasaki’s David Salom and BMW Motorrad Italia’s Sylvain Barrier also provided fans with some edge-of-the-seat action as they fought for ninth-place and top-EVO honors.

Despite losing a bit of ground, Sykes maintained a comfortable gap to the finish for his 21st career race win. Guintoli was able to pull ahead of Baz near the end of competition to take a secure second while Melandri missed out on the podium by a little less than one second in fourth. Rea found himself quite lonely during the latter stages and took a comfortable fifth, over seven seconds ahead of Lowes in sixth. Lowes’ finish was hard fought as Laverty and Giugliano battled to the final corners for the position, but a few backmarkers near the finish line allowed Lowes to slip ahead, leaving Giugliano in seventh and Laverty in eighth.

Salom prevailed in the EVO battle for ninth by a miniscule margin over Barrier in 10th.

World Superbike Portimao Race 1 Results 2014
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
3. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
4. Marco Melandri (Aprilia)
5. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
6. Alex Lowes (Suzuki)
7. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
8. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki)
10. Sylvain Barrier (BMW)
11. Leon Haslam (Honda)
12. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki)
13. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
14. Riccardo Russo (Kawasaki)
15. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki)
16. Aaron Yates (EBR)
17. Gabor Rizmayer (BMW)
18. Chaz Davies (Ducati)

Race 2

The few spots of rain in Race 1 grew to a full downpour by Race 2. Rea saw his chance for a win in the dark clouds that hung overhead and pushed quickly to the head of the pack when the lights went out. Sykes slotted into second with Davies in third, Melandri, Guintoli and Baz holding through six.

Rea immediately set to building a gap, pulling away from the field slightly on Lap 2 while Sykes remained steady in second. Melandri, Guintoli and Davies bunched up in an early podium position battle and the three riders changed position through nearly every corner on Laps 3 through 5. Haslam joined the group from sixth as well and started to push his way up the ranks. On Lap 6 Melandri and Guintoli were staying close in the fight for third while Daives worked to hold off attacks from Haslam and Giugliano. Entering Lap 7 Haslam ran wide trying to make a pass on Davies and slipped back a bit, while Giugliano capitalized on the distraction to move past Davies into fifth.

Melandri and Guintoli, meanwhile, were quickly closing in on Sykes in second-place. By Lap 8 the Aprilia duo had caught Sykes and each was able to pass the points leader easily, as Sykes opted out of a battle in the wet to ensure a safe finish. Sykes would go on to lose a handful of positions under this strategy, but was able to avoid any undue risk and still walk away with points in eighth-place.

Rea continued to lead but Melandri and Guintoli were on a mission for the front, cutting Rea’s multi-second lead down to nothing in the space of a few laps. By Lap 13 the Aprilia riders were hounding Rea, and one another, which proved to be their downfall. Guintoli pushed hard to get the advantage on Melandri, moving to the inside of the Italian rider but Melandri wasn’t going to give up his position easily. The two made contact while leaned over in the turn and both riders went down. Melandri was hit by both bikes during the slide off track and was forced to retire while Guintoli was able to hop up, right his bike and return to action.

The Aprilia fiasco gave Rea all the breathing room he needed and he maintained a machine-like consistency through to the checkers. Giugliano slipped into second after Melandri and Guintoli went down, with Davies following a few seconds back in third. Davies was absolutely determined to make the podium and set the fastest lap of the race on his final rotation.

Haslam and Lowes fought hard during the final laps, with Lowes coming out on top in fourth followed by Haslam in fifth. Baz claimed sixth followed by Guintoli in seventh and Sykes in eighth.

Sykes maintains his overall points lead, leaving with a 43 point advantage over Guintoli in second. Baz holds on to third but has Rea breathing down his neck a single point back in fourth. Melandri sits fifth followed by Davies in sixth.

World Superbike Portimao Race 2 Results 2014
1. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
2. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
3. Chaz Davies (Ducati)
4. Alex Lowes (Suzuki)
5. Leon Haslam (Honda)
6. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
7. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
9. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki)
10. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
11. Sylvain Barrier (BMW)
12. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki)
13. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki)
14. Bryan Staring (Kawasaki)
15. Riccardo Russo (Kawasaki)
16. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki)
17. David Salom (Kawasaki)
18. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
19. Gabor Rizmayer (BMW)

World Superbike Championship Points 2014
1. Tom Sykes, 284
2. Sylvain Guintoli, 241
3. Loris Baz, 236
4. Jonathan Rea, 235
5. Marco Melandri, 192
6. Chaz Davies, 159
7. Davide Giugliano, 140
8. Eugene Laverty, 121
9. Toni Elias, 115
10. Leon Haslam, 115

2014 WorldSBK Portimao Photos

Leon Haslam  91  finished fifth in the rain during Race 2 at Portimao. World Superbike riders managing the undulating hills of Portimao. Eugene Laverty  58   Davide Giugliano  34  and Alex Lowes battling in Race 1 at Portimao.
Ayrton Badovini finished fastest EVO competitor in Race 2 at Portimao. Aprilias Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli made contact during Race 2  sending both riders to the ground. Melandri retired and Guintoli finished in seventh. Tom Sykes paced himself in Race 2  keeping upright and gathering points rather than risking a crash.


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