Rea stamps authority on opening day at PortimaoWorldSBK 1Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) completed a triumphant return to competition on Friday at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve by scoring the fastest time for the day in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Rea’s FP1 time of 1’41.817 was enough to guarantee him the top spot ahead of Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati), fastest in FP3 and Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).

The Northern Irishman couldn’t match his morning pace but still topped the overall timesheets for Friday with a blistering lap of 1’41.817. Second in the third session, Rea was beaten to the top in the closing minutes by Melandri. The Italian managed to step up in FP3 after a promising day’s work and looks fiercer than ever at the Portuguese rollercoaster, as he faces his last four rounds with the Racing – Ducati team.

Third of the day was Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) with one of his strongest performances of the year. Just half a second behind Rea, the Spaniard rode more laps than anyone on Friday – as he did at the official test three weeks ago – and showed encouraging signs for the weekend.

After languishing near the bottom of the standings in FP1 and FP2, everything seemed to click in the end for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) as he took fourth position with his fastest FP3 lap, as well as the leading independent rider spot.

Biker T-Shirts UK

Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) ended Friday in fifth place, putting his RSV4 again amongst the frontrunners and showing promising pace throughout the day; as did Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team), with the Spaniard in sixth place at the chequered flag.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) improved his pace in the final Friday session but could only finish seventh on the combined timesheets, ahead of the two Yamahas of Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team). A late crash for the Dutchman didn’t affect his qualification for tomorrow’s Superpole 2, while Lowes, who turns 28 today, left it late but eventually got the job done with the ninth best lap. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Junior Team) completed the top ten on Friday.

An already difficult day for Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) took a turn for the worse in FP3, as a crash and fire in his Panigale R left him out of action and having to qualify from tomorrow’s Superpole 1. Luckily the Welshman, who has recently recovered from successive collarbone injuries, walked away from the incident unharmed.

The WorldSBK riders will get the ball rolling on Saturday with the Superpole 1, starting at 10:30 local time (09:30 GMT)!

#PortimaoWorldSBK at Automotodrom Internacional do Algarve: Friday
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1:41.817
2. Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) 0.186
3. Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +0.516

2019 Kawasaki Racing Team Clothing Range in Pole Position 1Successful test for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in Almeria 1Rea continues to lead the way as Jerez test comes to a close 1Jerez Test: Rea ends day one on top with rookie Bautista close behind 1Prepare for the second off-season battle between the ZX-10RR and V4 R 1World Superbike 2019 Provisional Calendar 1GRT Yamaha Step Up to WorldSBK with Melandri and Cortese in 2019 1Get behind the scenes of the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship 1BMW Motorrad Motorsport will be competing with Shaun Muir Racing in the WorldSBK 1World Superbikes — roaring toward a phone near you! | SBK Team Manager 1WorldSBK race two cancelled in Qatar 1Rea inches closer to points record with fantastic Race 1 win 1QatarWorldSBK Day 1: Laverty steals the spotlight in Qatar FP3 1Records on the line: WorldSBK has it all still to fight for 1Rea sets the pace in thrilling first day of action in Argentina 1Three races set to be introduced into WorldSBK race format in 2019 1No easing off for the champion: Rea makes it a double in France 1That’s a wrap! Rea takes the win and the WorldSBK title in style 1Jonathan Rea secures 2018 WorldSBK Championship crown 1Rea marches on in France with top time on Friday 1European Superstock 1000 Championship no longer to continue into 2019 1WorldSBK hits Magny-Cours: Re-writing the history books 1Jonathan Rea performs perfect Portuguese weekend 1Flawless Jonathan Rea extends Portimao winning streak 1Rea stamps authority on opening day at PortimaoWorldSBK 1WorldSBK returns with sensational fan entertainment 1Hyundai N to become WorldSBK Official Safety Car in 2019 1Back on the rollercoaster - WorldSBK returns in Portugal 1Scorching conditions see Rea end test with scorching pace 1Eventful opening day at Portimao as Marco Melandri finishes on top 1