Portimao WSBK: Rea romps to 11th win of 2018

Jonathan Rea took a dominant World Superbike win in the opening race at Portimao over Marco Melandri to extend his championship lead to 104 points.

Portimao WSBK: Rea romps to 11th win of 2018

Melandri grabbed the holeshot into the first corner at the start, but ran wide and allowed Rea through, while Lorenzo Savadori moved into third ahead of poleman Aprilia teammate Eugene Laverty.

Laverty's race would last just one more corner, as Barni Racing's Xavi Fores crashed into him under braking for Turn 3, eliminating both on the spot.

Rea was shadowed by Melandri and Savadori for the opening handful of laps, but soon began to open up an advantage of close to a second.

By lap 10, the KRT rider had eased two seconds clear of the chasing pack, and remained unchallenged through to the chequered flag to claim his 11th win of the season and the 65th of his career.

Savadori piled the pressure on Melandri for second, but his challenge ground to a halt at the start of lap 12 when he crashed out of a maiden podium place at Turn 1.

This promoted Yamaha's Michael van der Mark up to the final rostrum spot, though the Dutchman could do nothing to close down his two-second deficit to Melandri in front.

Ducati's Chaz Davies made a storming start from 14th to sixth after the opening corners, and ran line astern with van der Mark in the early laps.

His pace soon faded, however, and the Welshman settled into a lonely fourth to secure pole position for race two. Davies' fourth also gifts Rea 12 more points over him, the Kawasaki rider now 104 clear.

Rea's KRT stablemate Tom Sykes completed the top five and will start alongside Davies on Sunday, as will Althea BMW's Loris Baz, who usurped the MV Agusta of Jordi Torres late on to take sixth.

Toprak Razgatlioglu was eighth aboard his Puccetti Kawasaki, with the third factory Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi six seconds further back in ninth.

Alex Lowes completed the top 10, but was forced into a recovery ride after being dropped to the rear of the field by the Turn 3 incident between Fores and Laverty.

The Yamaha rider's fellow Briton Leon Camier had been 10th in the early stages on the Ten Kate Honda, but retired on lap 11 with a technical issue.

Race results:

Pos. # Rider Bike Gap
1 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea  Kawasaki 20 laps
2 33 Italy Marco Melandri  Ducati 1.575
3 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark  Yamaha 4.215
4 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies  Ducati 10.760
5 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes  Kawasaki 12.911
6 76 France Loris Baz  BMW 19.685
7 81 Spain Jordi Torres  MV Agusta 21.974
8 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu  Kawasaki 24.855
9 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 30.302
10 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes  Yamaha 32.408
11 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado  Kawasaki 32.875
12 68 Colombia Yonny Hernandez  Kawasaki 39.178
13 45 United States Jake Gagne  Honda 44.028
14 40 Spain Roman Ramos  Kawasaki 56.896
Ret 99 United States PJ Jacobsen  Honda 4 laps
Ret 32 Italy Lorenzo Savadori  Aprilia 9 laps
Ret 96 Czech Republic Jakub Smrz  Yamaha 9 laps
Ret 2 United Kingdom Leon Camier  Honda 10 laps
Ret 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty  Aprilia 20 laps
Ret 12 Spain Xavi Fores  Ducati 20 laps
Portimao WSBK: Laverty grabs first Aprilia pole since 2015

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Portimao WSBK: Rea closes on title with sixth successive win

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