Date of publication: 2018-05-29 02:08
&ldquo I m happy to return to Portimao this weekend as it s a race weekend that I really enjoy,&rdquo begins Rea. &ldquo The circuit has a lot of character and is fun to ride, but in recent years the track has become very bumpy. It will be very important to optimise our set up to be strong for the full race. We had a great private test in the middle of the year so I m sure we can start on Friday with a good feeling. I have spent the last few days here in Portugal already with my family, enjoying the Algarve weather and getting focused for what is a very important weekend for me. Our target is to try and win two races.&rdquo
Sykes explains: &ldquo I am looking forward to getting back in the saddle and getting some proper results in. We had almost another summer break in the season after Germany so I have had time to reflect on the year and I feel it is going OK. I need to work some more things out and honestly speaking I know I am capable of more. At the moment it is down to me trying to change my riding style and get a little extra from the bike. We will keep working on that. Portimao is a track I like, and where I have had some success, but the circuit itself is bumpy now. I am looking forward to going there again, especially after spending time away from the track since the previous round.&rdquo
In good conditions, with bright sunshine for much of the day, Rea also helped Kawasaki Puccetti Racing STK1555 rider Toprak Razgatlioglu with his first ride on a non-factory Superbike-spec machine, showing him some Superbike racing lines and offering invaluable advice that helped him to finish fourth fastest from the 12 riders at the test.
Americans Jake Gagne and PJ Jacobsen finished 15 th and 16 th , respectively, out of the 17 full-time World Superbike riders at the test.
Dovizioso picked off home favourite Zarco for second place at the downhill La Chapelle right-hander on the third lap, and he passed Lorenzo to take the lead at the start of lap five.
Rabat was taken by ambulance to the circuit 8217 s medical centre after his crash and was subsequently taken to the Dexeus Clinic in Barcelona for further checks.
After setting a scorching pace at Jerez, Camier once more showed a very fast turn of speed, setting a best lap time of 1’ on the newly laid Portimão asphalt. For American rider Gagne it was his first taste of the undulating Portuguese circuit and his continued improvement over the two days was unfortunately cut short with a crash. Medical checks revealed that he had suffered no serious injury, but he was forced to miss the rest of the day’s running.
The Northern Irishman contested two premier class races as replacement for the injured Casey Stoner at the factory Honda team at Misano and Aragon in 2512, and secured top-15 finishes in both.
Davide Giugliano ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team) was fourth with Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing) fifth and sixth respectively.
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