First out of the blocks once more and top of the timing screens once again, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) wasted no time on day two of the Official Portimao Test, as he finished almost a second quicker than the rest of the field as track temperatures soared once again. Beating the lap record with a time of 1.41.192, the reigning world champion means business on his ZX-10RR.
It was a stronger day two for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team, as Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark completed the top three, putting in over 250 laps between them across the two days. Lowes, who suffered from two crashes in this test, ended the day in second with a time of 1.42.140 as he worked on the new tyre from Pirelli, with the rest of the season in mind. Whilst van der Mark, who was on the same programme as his team-mate finished in third position, his time a 1.42.182. Working on this season and 2019, it was a productive two days in Portugal for the 2017 race winners.
Thursday’s fastest man Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took a top four finish in the test, ending with a time of 1.42.254 and putting in the more laps than any other rider. Preparing for the final four rounds with the Ducati Panigale R, Melandri and team-mate Davies were working on the set-up for the Pirelli tyres on the final day. Putting in short stints and taking advantage of the stifling conditions in the afternoon, the duo worked hard to end fourth and fifth.
Fellow Ducati riders Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) put in two solid days of testing on their Panigale R’s, ending sixth and 10th respectively. Fores has been working with an illness, so had a tough two days out on track and was putting in the laps to improvevtheir Superpole pace throughout the morning. Rinaldi was working alongside the factory team, putting in shorter stints with the Pirelli tyres.
Italian Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) found an improvement on his opening day pace and ended in the top seven, as he was riding with the bigger tyre provided by Pirelli. His improvement of 1.42.713 after completing over 140 laps puts him in a more stable condition for the race here in September. Whilst Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) completed 146 laps and ended in 11th position, with the Irish rider having a tough test around the rollercoaster circuit.
It was a difficult end to the week for Red Bull Honda World Supebike Team, as Leon Camier was forced to cut short his final day due to pain in his back, after sustaining an injury in Suzuka 8 Hour testing. But with the team arriving on Monday for a two day private test, the British rider had put a lot of work in throughout the week on their all new bike, and ended in eighth position overall with a time of 1.42.718; with 74 laps completed. Whilst American team-mate Jake Gagne was going to sit out of the final day to make way for compatriot PJ Jacobsen, but the duo ended the day on track together in 13th and 15th respectively.
Spaniard Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) continues to work with his Italian machine and make steps as he is new to the squad for 2018. Looking at the swingarm, chassis and shockabsorber as well as electronics it was a busy two days for the team, ending in ninth position; his time a 1.42.800.
Riders will now continue with the summer break, ahead of the 10th round of the season at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve from 14th – 16th September.