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WSBK Portimão: Rea takes 34th Kawasaki win in dominant fashion

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Once again, Jonathan Rea took a dominant victory in Portimão leaving him with a 120 point advantage over Tom Sykes in the overall standings.

After his performance yesterday, Leon Camier looked like a possible podium contender for race two. He took pole position and led the race until partway through lap two, when Rea took to the front and ran away from the pack. Camier soon dropped back through the pack and was eventually forced to retire with a technical issue.

The only real action from race two was the short-lived kerfuffle between Michael van der Mark, Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty. Van der Mark soon got the better of the two and dashed off into third, leaving the Ducati and Aprilia to scrap for fourth. Melandri and Laverty are by no means friends, and this shone through on their on-track battle. The pair constantly swapped positions with numerous overtakes, but the Italian eventually bridged a gap in front.

With Rea almost six seconds down the road, Chaz Davies was left in a lonely second place. With three laps to go, the Welshman crashed out, handing second place to Michael van der Mark, while the Dutchman’s team mate Alex Lowes was left reeling in the medical centre after a huge highside. As we all know, van der Mark is getting his MotoGP call up in Aragon next weekend to replace the injured Valentino Rossi, and his performance today has shown exactly why he’s the right man for the job.

Although today’s race was a bit of a snooze-fest, it was still a huge triumph for Rea who could (and probably will) wrap up his third consecutive WSBK title in Magny-Cours in two weeks time.

A special mention to Ana Carrasco, who became the first woman to win an international motorcycle race in World Supersport 300 this morning.

 

World Superbike results:

1. Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team – 34:40.917
2. Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team + 5.834
3. Marco Melandri, Aruba.it Racing Ducati + 9.201
4. Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia + 12.792
5. Jordi Torres, Althea BMW Racing Team + 15.943
6. Lorenzo Savadori, Milwaukee Aprilia + 19.359
7. Leandro Mercado, IODARacing Aprilia + 23.286
8. Anthony West, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing + 36.982
9. Ayrton Badovini, Grillini Racing Team + 48.544
10. Takumi Takahashi, Red Bull Honda WorldSBK Team + 50.000
11. Ondrej Jezek, Grillini Racing Team + 51.944
12. Alessandro Andreozzi, Guandalini Racing + 56.705
13. Xavi Fores, BARNI Racing Team + 1:07.518
14. Riccardo Russo, Pedercini Racing SC-Project + 1 lap
15. Roman Ramos, Team Kawasaki Go Eleven + 4 laps

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BT Sport extend UK MotoGP TV deal until 2021

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British telecoms provider and sports broadcaster extend their live TV deal for another three years.

The subscription-only sports broadcaster took over the rights to show MotoGP on UK TV screens from the BBC back in 2014 and have been hugely impressive in their commitment to the motorcycling premier class and the breadth of their coverage.

Now, thanks to an extension of the deal, BT Sport will continue to show complete coverage of each MotoGP round for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons.

https://twitter.com/btsportmotogp/status/966283173566058496

Motorsport veteran and former BBC F1 presenter Suzi Perry will continue to front the show, alongside Craig Doyle, whilst Colin Edwards and James Toseland will remain onboard as pundits.

New to the line-up for 2018 will be ex-GP racer Michael Laverty as third foil for Edwards and Toseland whilst the retiring Julian Ryder will be replaced in the commentary box by former World Superbike champion – and current BT Sport presenter – Neil Hodgson.

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Honda’s new livery is the same as last years! Can we expect similar looking results from Marquez too?

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Honda 2018 RC213V revealed with near-identical livery to their dominating machine of previous years.

After dominating the recent pre-season tests in Thailand – and let’s be honest – the last few years of the MotoGP championship, Honda revealed their 2018 GP livery in Jakarta today.

And it is almost exactly the same as every other year…

…which bodes well for the Honda team and their precision-like consistency; whilst probably annoying everybody else with their predictability.

From a racing point of view, we’re confident that we can be ready to fight for the title again, because our engineers in Japan made a big effort this winter and our riders are ready.

We know that our competitors will also be strong, and that they’ve taken some steps forward, but we expect a thrilling season – Alberto Puig, Team Manager

Not known to take major risks, the team would appear to be more focused on gaining Marc Marquez his fifth world title – after his stunning win last year – than winning any livery design competitions. And let’s not forget that Pedrosa will almost certainly want to build on his two race wins and fourth place championship finish last year.

Not long now… Excited yet?

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