Portimao WSBK: Van der Mark gets first BMW win, Rea crashes again

Michael van der Mark scored his first World Superbike victory as a BMW rider in a damp Superpole race at Portimao, as Jonathan Rea crashed out for a second race in succession.

On a damp-but-drying track, van der Mark was the clear class of the field, scything through from fifth on the grid to take the lead from Scott Redding's Ducati and then escaping at the head of the field.

The Dutchman went on to give the BMW M1000RR its first victory and end an eight-year wait since the German marque's last WSBK win.

There was more big drama on the opening lap as Kawasaki rider Rea suffered a low-side crash at Turn 13, having snatched the lead from championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu at Turn 5.

But Saturday race winner Razgatlioglu had already conceded second to Redding by this stage, and on the second lap the Yamaha rider was passed for second by van der Mark's BMW.

By lap 3 of 10, van der Mark was all over the back of his future teammate Redding, and what was looking like an inevitable move for the lead came at Turn 5 on lap four.

With a lap van der Mark's advantage out front was up to 1.5 seconds, a margin that doubled over the following two laps, the Dutchman taking his fifth win in WSBK by a comfortable 5.3s.

Redding hung on for second place despite coming under pressure for Loris Baz on the Go Eleven Ducati in the closing stages, with the Frenchman making it back-to-back podium finishes.

Razgatlioglu failed to make the most of his adversary Rea failing to finish, slipping to sixth place for his worst finish since July's Donington Park round, gaining a place back when Leon Haslam crashed at Turn 13 while battling Baz.

It means Razgatlioglu takes a 49-point lead into the final race of the weekend, for which Rea will start 10th on the grid.

Razgatlioglu's struggles meant Andrea Locatelli was Yamaha's top finisher in fourth, ahead of Alvaro Bautista on the surviving factory Honda.

Axel Bassani put in another strong wet-weather performance on the Motocorsa Ducati in seventh, while the remaining points went to Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) and Eugene Laverty (BMW).

The second works Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi was another first-lap casualty, the Italian suffering a major high-side crash at Turn 7 and requiring trackside medical attention.

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark
BMW 10
2 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding
Ducati 10 5.330
3 11 France Loris Baz
Ducati 10 7.066
4 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli
Yamaha 10 9.264
5 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 10 9.753
6 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 10 16.745
7 47 Italy Axel Bassani
Ducati 10 19.047
8 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 10 19.115
9 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty
BMW 10 20.901
10 32 Spain Isaac Viñales
Kawasaki 10 28.977
11 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado
Honda 10 31.057
12 76 Italy Samuele Cavalieri
Ducati 10 38.997
13 94 Germany Jonas Folger
BMW 10 41.330
14 53 Spain Tito Rabat
Kawasaki 10 51.079
15 16 Italy Gabriele Ruiu
BMW 10 55.894
16 23 France Christophe Ponsson
Yamaha 10 56.194
17 83 Australia Lachlan Epis
Kawasaki 10 1'23.343
91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 9
3 Japan Kohta Nozane
Yamaha 5
1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 0
21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 0
84 Belgium Loris Cresson
Kawasaki 0
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