QUICK RETURN TO ACTION FOR REA
The 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship returns to action this weekend only a few days after the last race at Motorland Aragon. The series has moved west across the Iberian peninsula for round 11 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal between September 29 and October 1.
Jonathan Rea is striving to build on his results at the most recent round in Motorland Aragon. His 3-2-4 record was supplemented by claiming pole position in Superpole Qualifying on Saturday with a circuit best lap time for the WorldSBK class (1m 47.973) and a new lap record in the Tissot Superpole race (1m 49.028) on Sunday.
Rea made his debut in the Superbike class in 2008 at Portimao, as the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is often referred to. In the intervening 14 years it has become one of his all-time favourite circuits and one of his most rewarding. He has recorded 24 rostrum finishes there over his career, including 13 individual race wins. So far in 2023 Jonathan has scored a total of 16 podiums and will hope to add to that tally this weekend.
The Portimao circuit is a challenging one for all riders. It is arguably the most undulating and intense track layout the riders have to face in this or any other WorldSBK season. The 4.592km long circuit was first used for WorldSBK action in 2008, and has been the scene of several pivotal moments in the championship’s history ever since.
Featuring a high number of blind corner entries and even a jump over a rise at one particularly busy sector of the track, Portimao also has a long main straight, approached while already in fourth gear from the exit of the final downhill curve. The T1 braking area is also downhill at Portimao, adding to the already strong mix of challenges posed by this unique circuit located in the hills behind some of the main holiday resorts on the Algarve coast.
Weekend Schedule: (GMT +1)
Free Practice 1 - 10:30-11:15
Free Practice 2 - 15:00-15:45
Free Practice 3 - 09:00-09:30
Superpole Qualifying - 11:10-11:25
WorldSBK Race 1 - 14:00 (20 laps)
Warm Up: - 09:00-09:15
Tissot Superpole Race - 11:00 (10 laps)
WorldSBK Race 2 - 14:00 (20 laps)
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “Portimao is a circuit that I really enjoy and I have had some great races there. The nature of the track is incredible and it is unique. It reminds me of my days of motocrossing, with its undulations, blind corners and off camber sections. It is a very challenging track. You are always in pursuit of the perfect lap around Portimao. You always feel that you could do something that little bit better. We will try to search for perfection this weekend after a string of solid race weekends. Approaching Portimao we have to keep our sights on the podium, enjoy riding the bike and work hard in free practices to be fast and also consistent in race conditions. Portimao is an event that we always have a lot of travelling support at from back home, so I am looking forward to that. Hopefully we can go out and bag some big points.”