2022 FIM Superbike World Championship
Spherical 9 – Portimao, Portugal
The ninth spherical of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship, the final to be held in Europe, will probably be hosted subsequent weekend by the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal.
A circuit as fascinating as it’s demanding for riders, bikes and tyres, with some “old-school” sections and a structure with a steady ‘ups and downs’ and plenty of blind corners that require sharp braking and topic the tyres to excessive lateral and longitudinal masses.
The observe was fully resurfaced in 2020, when it first hosted Formulation 1, however the grip provided is relatively restricted.
2022 has been up and down up to now for the entire title contenders and the undulations of Portimao promise to copy that additional this weekend. All the time a basic on the calendar and without end delivering spectacular racing, the ultimate European spherical of the 12 months goes to see a titanic battle royale on the entrance.
After his beautiful hat-trick in Barcelona, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) arrives at Portimao after one of the vital necessary rounds of the season up to now. In prime type by the Catalunya Spherical, he sports activities a 59-point lead over his nearest rival and that will probably be essential at Portimao, a observe the place he’s maybe much less more likely to be so dominant.
Rinaldi’s team-mate Michael Ruben Rinaldi is hitting type on the proper time, with one other podium in Barcelona, taking factors off Bautista’s rivals.
This needs to be the spherical the place Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) leads the cost to slice into Bautista’s factors hole. We’ve seen loads of occasions all through 2022 that factors swings occur in huge methods, however with simply 4 rounds to go, 59 factors is a sizeable process.
“I actually like this Portimão observe, but additionally we all know Johnny may be very robust right here. Begin of this 12 months we had a really constructive take a look at with superb lap time, one thing like 1’39.6… everybody is quicker this 12 months so we’ll see if we’re quick sufficient to win! I hope for a very good battle however most necessary I must battle for the win once more, it was tough in Barcelona so I’m looking out the identical feeling as Donington or Magny-Cours. We preserve focusing race by race.”
Toprak’s team-mate, Andrea Locatelli, is a double WorldSSP winner at Portimao and took a podium in Race 2 in WorldSBK final 12 months and wishes to realize again important factors within the title race this weekend within the battle for fourth total.
With 13 wins and 21 podiums and having made his WorldSBK debut on the observe in 2008, Portimao holds a particular in Jonathan Rea’s (Kawasaki Racing Workforce WorldSBK) coronary heart. The Ulsterman is essentially the most profitable rider on the grid on the undulating Portuguese venue and he’s going to be hoping that he can construct on these this weekend. Rea’s win drought extends again to World Superbike’s final go to to Portugal at Estoril, again at spherical three.. He and Razgatlioglu, while combating one another, may need to ‘work collectively’ to get the deficit to Bautista down.
“Portimao is a good circuit, and one which has quite a lot of particular reminiscences for me. I had my first ever WorldSBK Race there in 2008. The circuit itself may be very difficult. It has quite a lot of totally different traits, from gradual corners to quick ones, blind entries and apexes, so there’s quite a lot of rider enter required. We’ve loved some success there.
“After Barcelona, the place we had been capable of extract the total potential from our Ninja ZX-10RR, I anticipate to go to Portugal and preserve working with my crew to create a very good race package deal. The race in Portugal can also be cool as a result of I’ve quite a lot of travelling assist from Northern Eire there. It’s a nice circuit for viewing as nicely.
“The goal is to have a very good weekend. I actually need to get again to successful methods after this mid a part of the season, the place I’ve had a little bit of a win drought. Our crew has had two good days of testing just lately; one on Barcelona following the race and one in Motorland. We’ve much more info now and I’m excited to place that to good use in Portugal.”
Rea’s teammate Alex Lowes was on the podium in Barcelona and goals to repeat it this weekend.
“Portimao is certainly one of my favorite tracks – and occasions typically. It’s going to finish the European season for us and usually it’s a very good observe for me and the Ninja ZX-10RR. I’m aiming to proceed my robust type and be combating for the rostrum locations once more.
“We’ve made some enhancements with our base arrange these days, particularly with the rear of the bike, which has given me even better confidence. I can’t wait to check out the set-up adjustments subsequent weekend at Portimao.”
Transferring up into eighth total within the Championship standings and off the again of a primary profession pole place in Barcelona, Iker Lecuona (Workforce HRC) will probably be hoping for a return to the highest 5 within the races. A sixth place was his finest consequence final outing, regardless of ranging from pole, maybe leaving Lecuona anticipating extra. He’s examined at Portimao earlier within the 12 months and is a point-scorer from his MotoGP time on the circuit.
“I actually just like the Portimão observe, and this would be the second time I’m driving right here with the Superbike after a testing session again in February, so we’ll see if we’re capable of begin to the weekend on the proper foot. We’ve a busy interval from now till the top of the 12 months, with a good racing schedule and take a look at periods too, however we’re absolutely centered on the job. Me, the crew and everybody at HRC are working very laborious and we should proceed to take action. As I mentioned, I’m blissful to be racing at a observe I do know nicely, and I feel it may be one other alternative for us to attempt to keep on with the highest group.”
After a nice prime six in Race 2 in Barcelona and taking prime Honda honours, Xavi Vierge hopes to spice up Honda’s prospects additional, with the Japanese producer trailing BMW within the Producers’ Championship standings by simply 5 factors.
“Portimão is a observe I like. I loved it lots after we visited through the pre-season and that take a look at was very constructive for us really. We simply need to preserve the ball rolling after Barcelona, which was a tricky weekend but additionally a constructive one by way of the work and enchancment we had been capable of see and the issues we discovered. This has elevated my confidence in terms of making choices in regards to the path to take. One of the vital necessary issues this weekend in Portimão will probably be to work on the tyre life and discover a good electronics setup with which to realize that.”
Talking of BMW, it was a catastrophe in Barcelona; no prime ten in Superpole and a better of eighth place within the Tissot Superpole Race. They’ll need to return to some good type at a observe they’ve blissful reminiscences at, successful with Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Workforce) within the moist final 12 months.
Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Workforce) goes nicely there too with a hat-trick of podiums in 2021, nevertheless it’ll be a brand new problem for him with BMW. Sitting 58 factors again from fourth, it’s an enormous weekend for Redding who’s at the moment eighth within the title race.
“For me, Portimão is an effective circuit, very technical. I fairly take pleasure in driving it due to the character, the up and down, the lengthy corners, the gradual corners, so I’m very excited to go there. Clearly, after a tricky weekend at Barcelona, it could be good to attempt to get again to the place we had been, however once more it’s one other new observe for me with BMW, so I don’t know the potential.
“I do know BMW had a very good consequence there final 12 months within the rain-mixed situations so let’s see what we are able to do. It could be good to get again to the highest 5, and if we’re feeling actually robust it could be good to attempt to get a podium once more or at the least battle for it. I’m wanting ahead to it.”
Van der Mark additionally likes Portimao, his most profitable circuit, together with Assen by way of his podium tally with seven. However the Dutchman has solely scored factors on two events since returning to racing.
Michael van der Mark
“I’m wanting ahead to Portimão; it’s certainly one of my favorite WorldSBK tracks on the calendar. It’s a novel observe and I’m at all times wanting ahead to getting there. After Barcelona, our foremost goal is to have a problem-free weekend. I nonetheless must experience as a lot as potential.
“There have been some positives on the Barcelona weekend and I’m fairly positive that if all goes nicely we will probably be lots quicker at Portimão. Like I mentioned, it’s certainly one of my favorite tracks and that at all times helps. I can’t wait to get began and see the way it goes.”
By way of Impartial riders, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) has clearly established that he’s within the podium battle and is sixth total, three-points behind Locatelli in fifth, and 35 behind Rinaldi in fourth.
After a rostrum in Barcelona, Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Workforce) will hope for extra of the identical at Portimao, as he’s simply seven factors behind the highest ten within the standings, occupied by Vierge.
“I’ve at all times been a fan of rollercoasters and Portimao is not any totally different! Excited to go again to a hotter a part of Europe on such distinctive observe; one which I’ve loved and had good velocity previously. Hopefully this 12 months we’ll put all the things collectively to get a powerful consequence there and battle for a prime place. It’s going to be cool to go into this weekend as a result of my outdated crew are racing with Jake Gagne! It ought to be a very good environment and I’m excited for it.”
Loris Baz (Bonovo Motion BMW) took two prime ten leads to Barcelona however returns to a circuit the place he was on the rostrum finally 12 months as a substitute rider.
Leon Haslam (TPR Workforce Pedercini Racing), who was on the entrance row final 12 months, is again on the Pedercini Kawasaki.
There can even be two wildcards on the grid with Jake Gagne (Contemporary N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing) headlining, the American was just lately topped MotoAmerica champion and he’ll return to the WorldSBK grid for the primary time since 2018. Might Gagne trigger a shock this weekend at a circuit which he has the good thing about realizing?
Marvin Fritz (IXS – Yart – Yamaha) additionally returns to WorldSBK motion.
WorldSBK Championship Factors
|4||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||205|
|18||Michael Van Der Mark||18|
After gaining 50 factors on Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) on the Czech Spherical and reducing the hole to only 14 factors, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evam Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Workforce) has seen the reigning Champion slowly lengthen it again as much as 36 factors after the Catalunya Spherical. Aegerter comes into the spherical with a spring in his step following affirmation of his 2023 WorldSBK transfer.
Three riders are proper in rivalry for third total, all from three totally different producers, as Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Workforce) and Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) all battle it out for the bronze medal place.
Australian Tom Edwards (Yart – Yamaha WorldSSP) returns to the category after two wildcard appearances at Assen and Estoril this season. Edwards did race at this venue in WorldSSP300 between 2018 and 2020, taking two top-seven finishes in 4 races.
With common World Supersport opponents Oli Bayliss and Ben Currie that makes for 3 Australian riders on the WorldSSP grid this weekend.
WorldSSP Championship Factors
|7||Glenn Van Straalen||102|
|13||Raffaele De Rosa||57|
|31||Thomas Sales space-Amos||5|
All of it comes all the way down to the ultimate FIM Supersport 300 World Championship spherical of the season to find out who’ll be topped World Champion.
Heading into the Pirelli Portuguese Spherical, it’s Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor College Workforce) who leads the standings forward of Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) and, on the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, the pair will battle it out to see who will probably be topped Champion after an enthralling 2022 season.
Diaz narrowly missed out on claiming the title in Barcelona final outing, ending 0.046s away from a podium end that might’ve topped him Champion. As it’s, he comes into the Portuguese Spherical realizing a single level will probably be sufficient to assert the title if Steeman wins Race 1, while Steeman’s cost will finish if he doesn’t win each races.
Having been a Championship contender all through the marketing campaign, three non-scoring races in a row for Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) means the 2017 Champion has dropped down to 3rd within the standings. He does have an opportunity of overhauling Steeman for second, simply 23 factors behind, however he’s additionally solely 17 factors forward of Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) who’s aiming for a top-three end.
After a difficult season younger Aussie Harry Khouri will probably be hoping to finish the championship on a excessive word.
The Producers’ Championship will probably be determined at Portimao as Yamaha and Kawasaki battle it out for 2022 glory. Yamaha go into the spherical with a 15-point benefit over Kawasaki.
WorldSSP300 Championship Factors
|4||Hugo De Cancellis||140|
|5||Samuel Di Sora||132|
|16||Jose Luis Perez Gonzales||40|
|20||Julio Garcia Gonzalez||23|
|24||Aldi Satya Mahendra||17|
|25||Iker Garcia Abella||17|
|31||Yeray Saiz Marquez||4|
Portimao WorldSBK Time Schedule
2022 WorldSBK Calendar
|Oct 21-23||Circuito San Juan Villicum||SBK/SSP|
|Nov 18-20||Phillip Island||SBK/SSP|