Mother Nature would play her hand in today’s shortened-second World Superbike race at Portimao. And so would Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea, taking the win in wet conditions. Joining Rea on the podium was Ducati factory riders – Davide Guigliano and Chaz Davies.
In the rain, it was Rea’s day.
“I heard the rain coming on my motorhome,” Rea said after the race. “I was watching a little bit of the Tour de France and I just started singing a little bit. I was getting a little bit giddy, getting changed, because I knew it was a chance. Because a dry second race, than maybe it wasn’t possible to be here.”
Rea took the lead and built a healthy gap on the competition, but in the drying conditions that gap started to erode. Chasing Rea down was the Aprilia duo of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli. The duo - especially Melandri - looked in good form to bring disappointment to Rea, but Rea was not giving up without a fight. Ultimately it was the fight between the teammates that would bring heartache as Guintoli made contact with Melandri in turn five, sending the both sliding out on the tarmac with six laps to go.
That left Rea able to knock out the remaining laps more comfortably with a healthy gap on Giugliano in second.
“Yeah, unfortunately for them [Melandri and Guintoli] because they had a lot better pace than me at that point of the race,” Rea said. “It’s nice to take a wet win, but I much prefer it in the dry. But we’ll take it every way we can. It’s 25 points not just for me, but for all the team who are consistently working so hard to bring the package to the front. And I’m really happy for all them.
Guigliano had a solid second for the remainder of the race, with the battle for third behind him between his teammate Davies, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes, and the other man on the Pata Honda, Leon Haslam. In the end, Davies came out on top to secure his first wet-weather podium. Also his third this season with the new Ducati team.
“Yeah it was a tough race that,” Davies said. “Starting from third really helped me get up the front there in the early laps, but to be honest I didn’t expect to be on the podium. This is my first wet weather podium. It’s usually a condition I struggle with. But I think credit to the boys and the bike today. That’s definitely the best bike I’ve ever ridden in the wet. I could smell the podium. And the last laps, just having the dice with Leon [Haslam] and Alex [Lowes]… It was podium or bin it on the last lap. So I’m glad we came out on the podium side of that.”
Coming up short was rookie Lowes in fourth and Haslam in fifth. Kawaski’s Loris Baz recovered from eighth to finish sixth ahead of his teammate and race one winner, Sykes, who conservatively fell back to eighth.
Guintoli rejoined the race after his clash with his teammate and recovered to finish seventh.
Rounding out the top 10 was Lowes teammate Eugene Laverty in ninth and Red Devils Roma’s Toni Elias in 10th. Just outside the top 10 in 11th was the top finishing EVO rider was BMW Motorrad Italia’s Sylvain Barrier.
2014 Portimao World Superbike Race Two Results
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)