WorldSBK Portimao Superpole Race: Michael van der Mark wins first BMW race
Michael van der Mark took his first win since moving to BMW in the Portuguese Superpole race.
Michael van der Mark took a dominant win today in the WorldSBK Superpole race in the wet conditions, the Flying Dutchman has historically been very strong in the tricky conditions and today’s race is no exemption after winning by a massive 5.3 seconds in the 10 lap sprint race.
The race began with a picture-perfect start from Toprak Razgatlioglu in pole position, etching out a 5 bike length gap by turn two leading many of us to believe it was race over for Toprak, however it was the complete opposite with Jonathan Rea catching up and making his way past to lead the way with Scott Redding also making a move on the Turkish rider to demote the title leader down to third. From here it was a great opportunity for Rea to catch up on some solid championship points and eat into Razgatlioglu’s lead, sadly it wasn’t to be with Rea losing the front into Turn 13 and going down marking the end of his race on the opening lap.
This crash handed the lead to Scott Redding with a struggling Toprak Razgatlioglu in second, Razgatlioglu once again was troubled in these tricky conditions and found himself dropping points and places at an alarming rate falling back into the clutches of Van der Mark, Loris Baz, teammate Andrea Locatelli and Alvaro Bautista to eventually finish in sixth place gaining four championship points over Jonathan Rea.
Van der Mark was in a fighting mood today after getting past Razgatlioglu and would continue his hunt for glory by setting his targets on Scott Redding, within a lap the pair were together with Van der Mark making it look easy as he traded places with the Ducati man before “cruising” home to a victory despite his gap opening up quite significantly lap by lap, lapping a full 0.8 seconds faster than Scott Redding in second.
Finishing third was Loris Baz once again who wasn’t expected to be pulling these sorts of results out the bag but continues to impress as he rides in place of Chaz Davies in the GoEleven Ducati squad, a double podium already this weekend, can he make it three? He finished ahead of Andrea Locatelli who takes him his 11th P4 finish of the season, the P4 man will be disappointed by missing out on the podium once again by such a slim margin of just one place, he led Alvaro Bautista and Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Second fastest independent rider Axel Bassani took home an impressive P7 to finish ahead of Garrett Gerloff, the 22-year-old Ducati rider continuing to impress many, a star of the future that’s for certain, rounding out the top 10 were Eugene Laverty and Isaac Vinales.
Full results –
Featured image – BMW