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WorldSBK Estoril: Rea on point in Portugal

Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea claimed the final WorldSBK victory at Estoril after a race-long battle with his leading rivals.

Aruba.it Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista took the fight to the flag in a dramatic final lap with Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu completing another podium as the dominant trio maintained their advantage over the pack.

Rea lined up on pole once again after his Superpole sprint win on Sunday morning. Razgatlioglu and Bautista alongside once more with the Portuguese track dry and improved on the earlier mixed conditions despite the potential of rain continuing to threaten.


Razgatlioglu was off the line first as he headed the pack through the opening corner, Rea sitting second with Bautista defending but losing out to Andrea Locatelli on the second Pata as the Italian launched from fifth to third.

Bautista then Iker Lecuona bettered the R1 as the lap concluded with KRT’s Alex Lowes holding sixth from the second Aruba and Honda machines of Michael Rinaldi and Xavi Vierge. Lowes continued to climb a he captured both Locatelli and Lecuona for fourth as lap two played out, The Kawasaki running fastest man on track with three-tenths to bridge to the podium and spots of rain beginning to fall.

Rea held a two-tenth lead as his teammate tried to find a way through the Ducati for the final podium position. The move coming as lap three concluded with three-tenths already built as he pushed past the Panigale.

Redding dropped tot he edge of the top ten as the race bedded in, Loris Baz over a second behind with Axel Bassani ahead.

The home straight switch between Rea and Razgatlioglu continued as lap four concluded, the Northern Irishman maintaining control as the lap unfolded with Lowes on the wheels of the battling pair. Isaac Viñales the first victim of turn two on lap six.

Razgatlioglu hit the front on the brakes at turn one as lap seven fired up, Bautista doing likewise on Lowes for third before the Brit hit back. Redding regrouping to ninth as Vierge saved a major moment at turn ten.

Rea was back in command on lap nine as Lowes set another fastest lap with a 1’36.978. Bautista maintaining contention just a tenth off the Kawasaki before striking for third next time around.

The Spaniard was on the move as the mid-race distance approached, capturing both leaders down the straight and immediately pulling away as lap 11 played out. The quartet holding a three-second gap to the rest of the pack at the halfway stage.

Rea capitalised on Bautista’s ragged moves but the Ducati was far from done. Regrouping down the straight with another battle coming through turn one as the six-time champ returned to the lead once more. The Spaniard taking the advantage in a mirror-move next time around.


The leading trio were inseparable with seven to go, Lowes running wide into turn one as his grip on the battle faded with two seconds breathing space to Locatelli in fifth. Lecuona heading Bassani, Rinaldi, Vierge and Redding in the top ten.

Bautista’s lead sat at two-tenths with four laps to go, Razgatlioglu remaining in check but patiently watching the battle ahead from third as Rea struggled to find a way passed the Panigale.

Xavi Fores entered the top ten on the GoEleven as Redding dropped to eleventh. Baz, Kohta Nozane, Eugene Laverty and Luca Bernardi completing the points positions with two laps to go,

The penultimate lap saw Rea keeping the pressure high but with three-tenths still to bridge to the championship leader, Razgatlioglu settling for third as the race counted down. The Kawasaki rider stealing his teammate’s fastest lap award before the final revolution as the pair swapped positions repeatedly in quick succession. Rea claimed the victory with a dramatic conclusion from the battling Bautista, Razgatlioglu completing the podium with Lowes meeting the flag in fourth.


Locatelli finished fifth from Lecuona with Bassani, Rinaldi, Vierge and Fores maintaining the top ten. Redding, Baz, Nozane, Laverty and Bernardi the last to collect points.

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