Saturday 16 December 2017

Jonathan Rea takes first race victory in Portugal

Jonathan Rea took a race one win in Portugal
Jonathan Rea took a race one win in Portugal

Defending World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea led from start to finish to seal victory in race one in the Portimao sunshine during the Portugal round.

The Kawasaki rider stormed to pole earlier on Saturday - with fellow Briton Eugene Laverty and his Milwaukee Aprilia team-mate Lorenzo Savadori joining him on the front row - and finished ahead of Ducati duo Chaz Davies and Italian Marco Melandri in a time of 34 minutes 38.383 seconds.

Northern Ireland's Rea returned to winning ways after a double race victory for Britain's Davies in Germany last time out meant the championship leader had to settle for second in both races.

But at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve the 30-year-old bounced back as he came home six seconds ahead of Davies after Kawasaki team-mate and nearest rival Tom Sykes crashed out in final practice three, an accident which left him needing an operation and unable to race for the remainder of the weekend.

A statement on www.worldsbk.com regarding Sykes, read: "Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was absent from Tissot Superpole 2 after a crash in FP3.

"The accident has left Sykes with a finger injury on his left hand which will require surgery and rules him out of further action this weekend in Portugal."

Briton Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) came home fourth ahead of Holland's Michael van der Mark (Honda), Jordi Torres of Spain (BMW) and Laverty, while Italian Savadori and Spanish duo Javier Fores (Ducati) and Roman Ramos (Kawasaki) completed the top 10.

Rea now holds a 95-point lead over Sykes at the head of the standings ahead of Sunday's second race.

Press Association

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