Rea Rules Portimao World Superbike Action

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Jonathan Rea's crew greets him at the finish line after Rea won Saturday's World Superbike event in Portugal. (WorldSBK Photo)
Jonathan Rea's crew greets him at the finish line after Rea won Saturday's World Superbike event in Portugal. (WorldSBK Photo)

PORTIMAO, Portugal – Jonathan Rea rode his Kawasaki to victory in Saturday’s opening race of the World Superbike weekend at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.

Rea dominated Saturday’s race, finishing five seconds ahead of his pursuers to reassert himself in the battle for the World Superbike championship. He started from the pole and was in his own league throughout, never relinquishing the lead en route to the victory in the 20-lap race.

He was briefly challenged by Toprak Razgatlioglu, but a fast lap on the fourth circuit pulled Rea well clear of Razgatlioglu. Razgatlioglu wound up second, five seconds off Rea’s pace and two seconds clear of Michael van der Mark in third.

Alex Lowes was fourth on the second Kawasaki factory entry after surviving a battle with Loris Baz and Ducati’s Scott Redding. Michael Ruben Rinaldi made a charge to finish fifth, with Baz settling for sixth.

Championship leader Redding faded late in the race to finish seventh, followed by Tom Sykes. Alvaro Bautista and Eugene Laverty completed the top-10.