SBK: Portimao, qualifying roundup – World Supersport, Superstock 1000, Superstock 600
The World Supersport Pole Position ahead of tomorrow’s 18-lap race at Portimao was taken in style by Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), the Frenchman getting the better of Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) with the fastest lap of the weekend in 1’44.554. For Cluzel it is his 15th career WSS Pole, the fifth so far in 2015.
Alongside Cluzel and Sofuoglu on the front row, PJ Jacobsen grabbed third on his debut for the CORE” Motorsport Thailand team despite a considerable 1.134s gap to the top.
Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) kept themselves very much in contention in fourth and fifth positions, as did Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25) who completes the second row. Row 3 will see Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing Yamaha), who produced his best qualifying result of the year so far, joined by Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Roberto Rolfo (Lorini Honda).
The session was red flagged after 22 minutes following the technical problem sustained by Riccardo Russo (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda). Christian Gamarino (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) was also forced to pull out of the track due to an issue to his ZX-6R machine later on, while Kevin Wahr (SMS Racing Honda) and Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) both crashed uninjured.
Roberto Tamburini (Team MotoxRacing BMW) smashed Danilo Petrucci’s old circuit best lap from 2011 to take his second consecutive STK1000 Pole Position in Portimao. After starting on Pole last time out at Donington, the Italian edged championship leader and compatriot Lorenzo Savadori (Nuova M2 Racing Aprilia) by 0.147s courtesy of the 1’44.554 set with ten minutes to go.
Ondrej Jezek (Triple-M by Barni Ducati) completed the front row (+0.504s) after improving in the final moments of the sole qualifying session. Florian Marino returned to racing action after injury on the MRS Yamaha, he too was underneath the old circuit best and will start tomorrow’s 14 lap race from 4th.
Alongside Marino, Raffaele de Rosa (Althea Racing Ducati) and Luca Marconi (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) complete row number two. Kev Coghlan (MRS Yamaha), Jeremy Guarnoni (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) and Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) qualified 7th to 9th respectively, the trio within a second of Tamburini’s Pole Position time.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) maintained his 100% winning record in the FIM Europe Superstock 600cc Championship with another victory in this afternoon’s 12-lap race at Portimao’s Autodromo do Algarve.
The Turk, who started the race from row number two was already third at Turn 1, ending the opening lap in second before starting the battle for the lead in what was the closest race of the season, which at times had 12 riders locked together. Razgatlioglu eventually won by 0.065s in a photo finish with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) with Federico Caricasulo (Pata Honda Junior Team) completing the podium (+0.252s).
Andrea Tucci (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) just missed out on a rostrum finish after a strong ride to fourth. The Italian finished ahead of the reigning EJC champion Augusto Fernandez (Pata Honda Junior Team) and Rob Hartog (MTM-HS Kawasaki), who were 5th and 6th at the flag.
Today’s win, the fifth of the season for the young Turk gives him a 64-point lead in the overall standings.