SBK Portimao Race Two: Rea Profits As Aprilia Pair Collide


Jonathan Rea returned to winning ways in a wet second race after a dramatic collision between Aprilia teammates Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri. The duo had reeled Rea in at a vast rate but just as the lead looked set to switch hands, the two clashed, handing the Honda man an unchallenged victory.

Rea led every lap but the race was nowhere near as simple as that although it seemed he would win at a canter when he dropped Tom Sykes early on. The turning point came when the Aprilia teammates passed Sykes’ Kawasaki on lap eight as Melandri and Guintoli proceeded to unleash a blistering sequence of laps, taking over a second per lap out of Rea’s advantage.

Disaster for Aprilia as Guintoli scoops up Melandri (Photo Credit: WorldSBK.com)
Disaster for Aprilia as Guintoli scoops up Melandri (Photo Credit: WorldSBK.com)

By lap thirteen, the gap had disappeared altogether but as Guintoli dived up the inside of Melandri for second at turn five, the Italian closed the door and both were sent tumbling. A lead which looked in great jeopardy now stood at over seven seconds and Rea wouldn’t be caught this time.

The Ulsterman admitted to feeling disappointed by his uncompetitive showing in race one but the drastic change in weather conditions played perfectly into his hands.

“When I heard the rain coming on my motorhome roof as I watched a bit of the Tour de France ahead of race two, I started getting a little bit giddy and singing as I was getting changed! I knew that it was a chance for me. I tried to do my own race from the front but I saw from my lap board that the Aprilias had better pace at the middle point of the race. The track had started to dry out a bit and we were really suffering with corner exit but, although the conditions were a great leveller for all riders, it’s nice to take a win. I’d prefer to take it in the dry and we can’t get too excited because it’s a wet win; but we’ll take them any way we can and it’s 25 points not just for me but for the whole team.”

Davide Giugliano stormed through to take second with Ducati teammate Chaz Davies winning an all-British battle for third ahead of Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam, two other riders who relished the wet conditions. Kawasaki’s riders didn’t enjoy the slippery circuit quite so much with Loris Baz finishing sixth while an understandably cautious Tom Sykes banked the eight points on offer for eighth, even losing out to Guintoli who remounted to snatch seventh.