World Superbikes: Jonathan Rea seeks title against Toprak Razgatlioglu in Portimao

Rea finished second behind Razgatlioglu in the first race, but was only able to place fifth in the second encounter, when he struggled with a lack of rear grip with the optional softer tire in the conditions. the hottest in the afternoon.

The 34-year-old has a formidable record at Portimao, where he has scored 12 victories in his career. Only Assen recorded more success in terms of wins for Rea, who took his tally to 15 after a hat-trick on the iconic Dutch TT circuit this summer, surpassing Carl Fogarty’s record of 13 wins.

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Superbike world champion Jonathan Rea has 12 victories in Portimao, Portugal during his career.

With two rounds remaining after this weekend in Argentina and on the new Mandalika circuit in Indonesia, Rea will be determined to reduce Razgatlioglu’s advantage and put pressure on the 24-year-old as the title battle reaches a critical point of the season. .

If the young Turkish challenger managed to increase his lead by seven more points this weekend, Razgatlioglu would win the title even if he finished second behind Rea in the remaining races.

However, a confident Rea said: “I expect a lot more from Portimao. I think there are a few factors that should work in our favor there. It’s a track where I’m pretty strong too; we hope to capitalize.

“We are expecting a good weekend. So that’s good – it’s good pressure. I love the feeling, I love the feeling when my back is against the wall – it’s nice. I like to grit my teeth.

“But I need a weapon to fight: you can’t just bite the bullet and make it,” added the six-time champion.

“We have to solve the small problems that we encounter in these hot conditions with the soft tires. But, I think the soft tire is on vacation until next year. I think Portimao should suit us a bit better than the previous rounds.

Scott Redding clinched a third and second place on the Aruba.it Ducati in Jerez, where the Superpole race was pulled from Sunday’s schedule after Saturday’s race was canceled following the tragic death of a 15-year-old Spanish hope. Dean Berta Vinales, who died of an accident during the first race of the World Supersport 300.

Redding, however, is 69 points behind Razgatlioglu and last year’s championship runner-up would need an unlikely turn of events to enter.

Free practice kicks off in Portimao on Friday, with Saturday’s opening race scheduled for 2:00 p.m. BST.

Meanwhile, the penultimate round of the British Superbike Showdown takes place this weekend at Donington Park, while Bishopscourt in Co Down hosts the final round of this year’s Ulster Superbike Championship.

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