WSBK – Biaggi scores his first brace in Portimao! – Second Superbike race

Biaggi scores his first brace in Portimao !

WSBK - Biaggi scores his first brace in Portimao! - Second Superbike race

The second round of the World Superbike yesterday in Portugal saw Biaggi and his Aprilia win over the two Superbike rounds. But Haslam remains at the top of the provisional ranking while in Supersport, Sofuoglu leads the dance. Report.

Second Superbike race

Max Biaggi and his Aprilia take the lead again ahead of Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, Cal Crutchlow, Troy Corser, Leon Camier, Carlos Checa, Shane Byrne and Noriyuki Haga.

In the first lap, the Japanese made a mistake and Ruben Xaus, Sylvain Guintoli and James Toseland overtook him. Michel Fabrizio meanwhile is retained in 17th position, still plagued by a lack of confidence in his front axle … Definitely, the Portuguese event turns into a nightmare for the official Ducatis. !

"The important thing is not to fall and to score as many points as possible in each race.", will try to relativize Haga San. Once again 8th and 11th at the end of this second round, Noriyuki and Michel collect small points … Will the results be better in two weeks in Valence ?

On lap 2, Rea had a superb interior on Biaggi in a fast left-hand curve. But the Roman Emperor recovers his due a few bends further and tries again to make himself look good: he leaves Johnny Rea, Leon Haslam and Cal Crutchlow to explain themselves. !

Behind, Checa and Corser compete for 5th place, Byrne and Camier for 7th and Toseland and Guintoli for 9th. In the Top 10 are therefore six British, an Australian and a Frenchie … The subjects of Her Majesty Elizabeth II are in great shape !

Momentarily released by Rea in the 4th loop, Haslam returned to the Irishman in the 5th and a superb fight ensued between the Honda and the Suzuki. Aprilia posted in front of them takes the opportunity to stick several lengths to them.

A gap from Johnny, however, allows Leon to breathe and focus again on his goal: Max’s rear wheel! Cal Crutchlow also takes advantage of Jonathan’s mistake to virtually climb to the third step of the podium.

But the Rea threat does not last: "I still felt comfortable but I heard a funny noise going through the straight two laps later so I disengaged and it was all over", describes the pilot Ten Kate n ° 65, betrayed by the engine of his Fireblade…

At the same time, another Grand Prix star stands out: Carlos Checa grabs a tenth of a second per lap at Biaggi !

"Even though my start wasn’t great, at least I was able to stay in touch with the fast guys. Unfortunately what I gained in the corners I lost in the straight line and it would have been pointless to take risks", will indicate the n ° 7.

At the halfway point, Biaggi leads ahead of Haslam, Crutchlow and Checa. The four men roll in the same second and prepare a dazzling finish for us … Corser and his BMW cannot match the pace of the Aprilia, Suz ‘, Honda and Ducati placed in front of them: the inseparable Camier and Byrne swoop down on the S1000RR !

We tried a few things for the second run: it was a bit better and it lasted a bit longer but after about 11 laps I really struggled with the grip", will testify the famous n ° 11 … But his teammate, the Spanish n ° 111 does not do much better: Xaus rides solo in 12th position.

Victorious in Superstock 1000, the Behème is still too aggressive with the Pirelli to perform well in the Superbike category. Will the Michelin ride in the Endurance World Cup change the situation at the next 24 Hours of Le Mans Moto? ?

At Kawasaki, the situation is even harder: Tom Sykes, 15th in the first round, will finish this second round in 13th place, 33 seconds behind the winner … "I’m a bit frustrated honestly as I was trying to overtake but just didn’t have enough grip in the corners and under braking to get into action", will regret the English Ninja.

On lap 12, Haslam momentarily took 1st place but Biaggi took over the reins of the race in the next loop. Crutchlow and Checa do not miss a beat of the show, just a few lengths from the leading duo !

In 5th position, Leon Camier manages to keep one second ahead of James Toseland. A little further on, Troy Corser must already hear Shane Byrne approaching … Unless the howls of his own BMW cover the beating of the twin cylinder ?!

Six laps from the end, Haslam returned to the attack at the end of the straight line and passed Biaggi! English does not spare its efforts, evidenced by the untimely movements of his Gex. Biaggi him, slips in 3rd position behind Crutchlow.

Corser, Guintoli and Haga also set the mood on the track! The French and Japanese got rid of the Australian with relative difficulty and contested until the end for 8th place, just ahead of Fabrizio.

Four laps from the checkered flag, Max Biaggi climbs back to 2nd place. A short lap later and the Roman Emperor finds himself in Leon’s rear wheel … And it’s two laps from the end that Biaggi takes back the lead of this second race. !

As in the first round, Biaggi tries to escape alone towards victory but the Suz ‘n ° 91 remains attached to the backrest of his Aprilia n ° 3! The Yamaha and the Ducati must admit defeat and the four riders keep their places until the end..

The top of the results sheet therefore knows only one change in the Top 5 compared to the first race: Cal Crutchlow replaces Jonathan Rea on the podium, giving Yamaha its first good result of the year..

James Toseland is however not entirely disappointed with his 7th then 6th places: after his heavy fall in qualifying, the n ° 52 of the Blues was not at the best of his form. " Starting from 15th place, we achieved good results", concludes James.

"We made great progress from Australia thanks to Yamaha who did a job", notes Cal Crutchlow, who concludes sympathetically by addressing his"congratulations to Max Biaggi, as well as to Leon Camier".

A welcome nod to Biaggi’s teammate who finished the two Portuguese races in a nice 5th place: "unfortunately, I did not know how to find my rhythm in the first laps and that penalized me a bit: I now have to improve on this point", remarks the rookie !

"The pace was slower in the second run and we were pretty close. It was really a great battle with a lot of overtaking and a few mistakes", for his part, sums up the pirate Mad Max, author of his very first double in the World Superbike !

2nd again, Leon Haslam does not hide his surprise mixed with satisfaction: "if I had been told before the start of the season that I would win one race and be on the podium three times in the first four races, I would not have believed it", admits the pilot of Suzuki n ° 91 !

His teammate – our compatriot – Sylvain Guintoli draws up a more modest assessment: "to be honest i feel like i missed my weekend a bit"Syl ‘believes. Certainly,"the second round was better (9th instead of 13th)but in this championship, we cannot be satisfied with being average. You have to be in the loop every time"… Not easy.

Thanks to his excellent results at Phillip Island and Portimao (which earned him 85 points), Leon Haslam is naturally at the top of the championship. Max Biaggi climbs to 2nd position (69 points), overtaking Carlos Checa (60), Michel Fabrizio (46), Noriyuki Haga (43), Jonathan Rea (39) and Sylvain Guintoli (33).

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