There was plenty to celebrate for the podium finishers of the second World Superbike race in Portimao, Portugal. Aprilia's Eugene Laverty celebrated his first win of the season. Jonathan Rea celebrated his contract extension with the Honda World Superbike team by finishing second. And third place finisher Max Biaggi (Aprilia) could all but celebrate his second World Superbike title.
Laverty led the race from start to finish, pulling out over three seconds before Rea made a last lap run that cut his margin of victory to 0.162 sec.
Biaggi was an early second before being dropped to third on the eighth lap by Rea. Late in the race Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) came at him, but Camier wouldn't make the end of the race, giving Biaggi a secure third. PATA Racing Team's Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) was fourth with Althea Racing Ducati's Carlos Checa fifth.
Neither of the two riders chasing Biaggi figured in the outcome. BMW's Marco Melandri wasn't able to start the race after falling on the first lap of the first race and being hit by another rider. Kawasaki's Tom Sykes, the first race winner, was taken out by a technical problem while sitting third on the third of 22 laps.
The penultimate round of the championship ended with Biaggi holding 347 points to 316.5 for Sykes and 308.5 for Melandri. For Biaggi to win the title he needs to finish the first race at the season finale in Magny-Cours with a 25 point cushion.
Portimao World Superbike Results:
1. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
2. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
4. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
5. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
6. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
7. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
8. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
9. Brett McCormick (Ducati)
10. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati)
11. John Hopkins (Suzuki)