Portimao Round Restarts WorldSBK Season
After a positive recent test session at Portimao Jonathan Rea will now restart his 2019 WorldSBK championship campaign at the very same undulating 4.592km long Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit this coming weekend.
With the most recent points scoring WorldSBK event having taken place at Laguna Seca in the USA between the 12thand 14thof July, anticipation is high for the forthcoming event in Portugal, the tenth round of a 13-round season.
After riding alongside team-mate Leon Haslam to win the famous Suzuka 8-Hours race in late July, then joining Leon again the recent tests in Portugal, Rea is ready to try and extent his current WorldSBK championship lead of 81 points.
A strong recent run of winning form, added to his almost perfect early season podium-scoring, has given Rea his impressive lead with just four rounds to go. Race wins will be the immediate target, as ever, for Rea this weekend. He has already recorded nine individual victories this season and a remarkable 80 wins over his long WorldSBK career.
Portimao is clearly a happy hunting ground for Jonathan, who has won each of the past seven WorldSBK races he has competed at in Portugal – and all six races he has started there on a Kawasaki.
As is the case at each round this year, there will be three points scoring races in Portugal. There will be two full distance contests over 20 laps (on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, respectively) and one ten-lap Tissot-Superpole ‘sprint’ race on Sunday morning.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really excited to get back into racing again. It has been such a long time since the last WorldSBK races and I can’t wait for the Portimao weekend. I love the track and after the tests we have a clear direction of the base settings that we will start with on the Ninja ZX-10RR. We will work step-by-step through Friday, trying to get a race package, and then focus on our qualifying to make sure we have a good race. I am going to have a lot of travelling support over from Northern Ireland and I cannot wait to get back to business. That race weekend feeling is something I really enjoy, together with all my team.”