Category Archives: WSBK

World Superbike Championship

SCX replaces SCQ tyre at Portimao, development solutions available at front and rear

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship touches down at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve for the penultimate round of the season and the demanding and undulating circuit means Pirelli have opted for the harder end of their range. There will be no SCQ tyre available at the Pirelli Portuguese Round while there are two development solutions – one at the front and one at the rear – for riders to use.


Due to the demands of the ‘rollercoaster’, Pirelli have opted to remove the SCQ from the allocation and replace it with the SCX meaning it can only be used in the Tissot Superpole and Tissot Superpole Race. Because the SCX can only be used in the 10-lap race, the standard SC0 solution becomes the softest available rear tyre in feature-length races for Portimao, and it’s joined by the A1126 development SC1 tyre. This made its debut last year at Mandalika and was used most recently at the Autodrom Most.

THE FULL RANGE: plenty of front tyre choices

For the front of the machines, Pirelli are bringing a large selection. The softest tyre is the development SC0 in C0927 specification, featuring the same carcass as the B1148 specification but a different compound to provide more grip at the front axle. Two standard solutions make up the remainder of the range. These are the SC1 medium and SC2 hard tyre to give teams and riders a range of tyres to choose from at the Portuguese venue.


Pirelli’s innovation isn’t only limited to WorldSBK with several development solutions available to the WorldSSP field. At the front, the standard SC1 soft tyre is joined by the development SC1-A soft in B1333 specification. This tyre made its debut at Magny-Cours and was used a lot last weekend at Aragon, while the SC1-B medium returns. This tyre has been available throughout 2023 as part of an ongoing test for its used in WorldSSP next year.

PIRELLI’S VIEW: the reasons behind the selection

Explaining Pirelli’s tyre selection, Motorcycle Racing Director Giorgio Barbier said: “Portimao is certainly not the most demanding circuit on which we are called to race during the season, but it still remains one of those tracks not to be underestimated, both by the riders and by ourselves as tyre manufacturers. It is difficult for the riders due to the ups and downs and blind crests followed by sudden braking but, for this very reason, it is full of charm. But it is also a circuit which, despite being completely resurfaced in 2020, is very poor in grip and, at the same time, subjects the tyres to high lateral and longitudinal loads. Therefore, solutions that are too soft over the race distance could be penalised due to the graining they could encounter, especially with low temperatures. This is why we will use the SCX instead of the SCQ as a Superpole and possibly Superpole Race tyre while for long races the choice falls on the standard SC0 or on the development SC1 capable of ensuring better performance consistency.”

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DON’T MISS OUT: get your tickets for what could be a title-deciding Portuguese Round!

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heads to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve with three Riders’ Championship titles still up for grabs. The Pirelli Portuguese Round has been known for its drama in recent years and having a huge role to play as the campaign reaches its conclusion. Don’t miss out on any moment in what’s been an incredible fight between Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and get your tickets for Portimao HERE.

Just 47 points separate Bautista and Razgatlioglu heading into Portimao, and it could be the round where Bautista is crowned for a second time, but the #54 pulled off the race of his life here last year to fend off the reigning Champion. Are we in for a repeat? Portimao is shaping up to be a classic and you’ll want to be there to witness history. In WorldSSP, it’s likely the title gets decided with Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) clear at the top of the standings while in WorldSSP300, anything can happen in a three-way rider showdown. Get to Portimao and get to witness at least one Champion being crowned.

There will be plenty of off-track entertainment to keep you busy too with the famous Paddock Show. Interactive games, meet and greet sessions and much more are all scheduled but it’s also where the podium celebrations take place. You can get up close and personal to your favourite riders as they celebrate a podium finish – or, even, a Championship win. There’s plenty to watch, on and off track, and you won’t want to miss anything from Portugal.

Get your tickets for Portimao HERE and watch every moment from a pivotal round!


FULL SCHEDULE: all the key times as WorldSBK descends on Portugal for Round 11!

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heads to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve for the 11th and penultimate round of the season. The Pirelli Portuguese Round could be the decider and you won’t want to miss anything from the ‘rollercoaster’. Action starts on Friday at 09:45 Local Time (GMT+1) with WorldSSP300 FP1 before WorldSBK at 10:30 and WorldSSP at 11:25. In the afternoon, WorldSSP300 FP2 starts at 14:15 with WorldSBK at 15:00 and WorldSSP at 16:00. Saturday starts with WorldSBK FP3 at 09:00 before the three Tissot Superpole sessions. WorldSSP300 is at 09:45, WorldSSP at 10:25 and WorldSBK at 11:10. Then, it’s time to race. WorldSSP300 Race 1 is at 12:40 before WorldSBK at 14:00. WorldSSP Race 1 concludes Saturday’s action at 15:15. On Sunday, the three Warm Up sessions start at 09:00 before jumping straight into racing. The Tissot Superpole Race is at 11:00 before WorldSSP Race 2 at 12:30. WorldSBK Race 2 is at 14:00 before WorldSSP300 Race 2 ends the weekend at 15:15.

Watch every single moment LIVE and UNINTERRUPTED using the WorldSBK VideoPass for only €9.99!

Friday, 29th September (all times Local Time, GMT+1)

09:45-10:15 – WorldSSP300 Free Practice 1

10:30-11:15 – WorldSBK Free Practice 1

11:25-12:10 – WorldSSP Free Practice 1

14:15-14:45 – WorldSSP300 Free Practice 2

15:00-15:45 – WorldSBK Free Practice 2

16:00-16:45 – WorldSSP Free Practice 2

Saturday, 30th September

09:00-09:30 – WorldSBK Free Practice 3

09:45-10:05 – WorldSSP300 Tissot Superpole

10:25-10:45 – WorldSSP Tissot Superpole

11:10-11:25 – WorldSBK Tissot Superpole

12:40 – WorldSSP300 Race 1 (13 laps)

14:00 – WorldSBK Race 1 (20 laps)

15:15 – WorldSSP Race 1 (17 laps)


Sunday, 1st October

09:00-09:15 – WorldSBK Warm Up

09:25-09:40 – WorldSSP Warm Up

09:50-10:05 – WorldSSP300 Warm Up

11:00 – WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race (10 laps)

12:30 – WorldSSP Race 2 (17 laps)

14:00 – WorldSBK Race 2 (20 laps)

15:15 – WorldSSP300 Race 2 (13 laps)


PREVIEW: Bautista’s first match point looms at Portimao but will he falter again?

The ball is very firmly in Alvaro Bautista’s ( Racing – Ducati) court but title rival Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) is looking to break his serve and advantage. He aced his rival at the same track last year and this weekend certainly isn’t the time for faults. Now we’ve got the tennis puns, terms and comparisons out of the way, the Pirelli Portuguese Round from the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is billed as a classic before it has begun. The two aforementioned heavyweights can both have a huge say in the outcome of the title race and Portimao has so often played a pivotal part, with the rollercoaster bringing big dips and rises.

TWO GREATS, ONE GOAL: Bautista vs Razgatlioglu ready for Chapter 11

Recent form suggests that 2021 World Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu has the momentum; he’s got what was a 98-point deficit down to 47, with points being taken out at each round since Imola. 12 months ago at Portimao, he won two races whilst Bautista won one, the points swing then only three across the weekend. Razgatlioglu will need more than that if he’s to have a realistic chance of title number two in 2023. To stay in title contention, he must be 61 points or less behind Bautista after Portimao, which means he could technically finish second to the Spaniard in all three races but that only delays the inevitable as the gap would go up to 60. Bautista winning with Toprak only third would put the Spaniard even further in the driving seat. Three wins with Bautista second however changes the ‘inevitable’ to the possible, as the gap would be 34. For Bautista, he can only be Champion on Sunday if results go his way.

POSSIBLE INTERFERENCES: could Rea have a say and what about the teammates?

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has a stellar record at Portimao, with some 13 wins to his name, more than four-times the number of the next-best, which is Toprak. Last year was the first time that Rea didn’t win a race with Kawasaki there but a solid Aragon and with the bike now in a good operating window, perhaps he’ll be amongst the battle between the two ahead of him. His teammate, Alex Lowes, should be back in action this weekend as long as he passes a medical check on Thursday. Elsewhere, Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) hopes for more podiums and perhaps even a win, whereas Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) will be keen to help teammate Toprak if necessary and bounce back from an unlucky Race 2 retirement at Aragon, although he’ll have to do it the hard way with a back of the grid start for Race 1 after not adhering to the orange disk flag during the technical issue from Aragon.

They’re not the only ones with a point to prove; after a crash in Superpole left his Aragon weekend being an uphill struggle from last on the grid, Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) has his sights set on returning to the podium and thus the top six overall in the standings. He tested at Portimao at the very start of the year and has also been present before, so he’ll know how a Superbike should feel round the Portuguese venue. Don’t discount Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), who hopes crew chief Simone Corsini will be back alongside him this weekend. Aragon was difficult for ‘El Bocia’ but he’s eager to get in the podium scrap again.

HONDA VS BMW: who will feature stronger in Portugal?

Aragon welcomed Honda back to something of a competitive force, with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) enjoying a top six Superpole performance and two sixth place finishes on Sunday, whilst teammate Xavi Vierge leapfrogged the absent Lowes in the standings with a strong final race day. Lecuona struggled at Portimao last year; the Valencia didn’t score a top ten, whilst his #97 counterpart was able to take two P8s in the full races. Testing earlier in the year will have helped but can they carry on their Aragon momentum?

For BMW, Aragon has never been easy but it was once again Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) who was the best for the German manufacturer; the American is now just eight points away from lead BMW in the standings, Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). The #45 was injured before Aragon after an incident at home, so will hope he’s in better shape for the rollercoaster. His teammate, Michael van der Mark, enjoyed his best results since coming back from injury and aims for a first top ten since his home round at Assen. He gave BMW their most recent win in WorldSBK at Portimao two years ago. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) completes the BMW contingency; he was on the Portimao rostrum in 2021 for Ducati as a substitute rider and he’ll need a strong round this weekend too, with his future hanging in the balance.

OTHER BIG NAMES: Aegerter and Gardner aiming for resurgence

Portimao wasn’t the happiest of hunting ground for Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) back in WorldSSP and after battling through Aragon following his hefty crash at Magny-Cours, a return to the top ten will be on his agenda. Teammate Remy Gardner has been the stronger of the two in recent rounds and hopes to continue his charge to the top ten overall in the standings this weekend. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) confirmed that he’s riding for his WorldSBK career and with six top ten finishes on the spin, he’s in decent form to market himself in the best way. Brad Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) hasn’t scored points since his return at Magny-Cours but hopes that Portimao – where he tested at earlier in the year – will offer a reprieve.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) took a podium in WorldSSP at Portimao in 2022 but points are the aim this year in World Superbike; meanwhile, Hafizh Syahrin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) and teammate Eric Granado target a solid Portuguese Round. Granado, like Czech rider Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing MOVISIO), chases a first points-scoring ride of 2023, whilst Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Isaac Vinales (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) both aim to add to their one point of 2023. Gabriele Ruiu (Bmax Racing) is back in action and hopes for a stronger outing.

TWO ROUNDS LEFT: get the Portimao Official Programme for FREE, enjoy the full highlights of Aragon here and watch the penultimate round in style for just €9.99 with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


Iglesias to make WorldSSP300 return in 2024 with RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki

Inigo Iglesias will return to the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship grid in 2024 with the Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki squad. He previously competed in the World Championship between 2020 and 2022 before a switch to Germany for this year, with the team he’ll race with in 2024, where he proved to be a success. On the back of that, he will return to the world stage next season.

The Spaniard made his WorldSSP300 debut in 2020 and finished 22nd in the standings with a best result of sixth in Barcelona. He built on that in his sophomore campaign with three podiums and one pole position for seventh in the standings. Like in his rookie season, his best race came on home soil as he took two second place finishes at Jerez. One more podium came in 2023, this time at the Circuito Estoril, before his WorldSSP300 career was halted for a move to Germany.

Switching to the Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki squad for the IDM Supersport 300 championship, Iglesias was only off the podium in two races this season. He took four wins, four second places and three third places on his way to the title. He scored 261 points and won the championship with a 60-point margin over his rivals.

Discussing his return to WorldSSP300, the Spanish rider said: “I am very happy to have won the IDM championship and move forward towards the World Supersport 300 with the team for the 2024 campaign. We have built a good combination that will be very important for next year.”

Team Manager Rob Vennegoor added: “I am very proud of Inigo’s switch, because this was exactly the plan we had with this cooperation. If this then succeeds so successfully, with the IDM Supersport 300 title as well, then it is also a fantastic farewell to the IDM. On the other hand, it is of course a shame that Inigo is the last rider within our team to be able to make this transfer, but we are going to do everything we can to maintain the successful progress of him in the World Supersport 300. He has shown that he can also be successful in this class and therefore I am confident of a wonderful 2024! The goal with him is undoubtedly the title to achieve the ultimate for us: to grow within our team to eventually be very successful at World Championship level! Accomplishing that would be great.”

Watch the final round of the 2023 WorldSSP season in style with the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!


STATS ROUND-UP: Rea breaks 2000 WorldSBK laps led, Bautista closes down Fogarty win tally

A heroic Tissot Aragon Round concluded the tenth round of the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, with MotorLand Aragon once again delivering a spectacular event. Records are always on the horizon, with history being made once again just a stone’s throw from the quaint old town of Alcaniz. So, strap yourself down for a overview of all the big numbers hit this weekend.

2000 – After leading the opening lap of the Tissot Superpole Race, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) clocked his 2000th led lap in WorldSBK and finished the weekend with 2009 led, the first rider to hit such a milestone in WorldSBK. In fact, it’s more than anyone in MotoGP™/500cc Grand Prix too, albeit there’s been more races in WorldSBK to allow that to happen.

540/420 – Rea’s podium in the Superpole Race was the 540th podium place for Kawasaki in WorldSBK and the 420thdifferent podium they’ve had representation on.

115 vs 107 – Scott Redding’s (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) difficult Aragon means he is now just eight points ahead of 2024 teammate Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) in the battle to be top BMW. Five top ten results in six races for Gerloff, whilst Redding has only had two in seven.

110/28 – Toprak Razgatlioglu has 110 podiums in WorldSBK, one more than four-time World Champion Carl Fogarty. 28 podiums is one short of his best of 29, which was set in 2022 and 2021.

90 – Bautista’s win in Race 2 at Aragon was the 90th for Spain. In the Superpole Race, he gave Spain a 200th podium in WorldSBK.

73 – 73 races – two years and four days – since his last victory, Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) was back on the top step of the podium. This is the second-longest wait in terms of races to win again, after Leon Haslam had to wait for 113 between 2010 and 2015.

53/3 – With 53 wins, Alvaro Bautista is now inside the top three of the overall winners in WorldSBK history. Jonathan Rea on 119 and Carl Fogarty on 59 are ahead of him. All his wins came for Ducati, meaning he’s just three shy of Foggy’s Ducati tally.

43 – Jonathan Rea took his 43rd pole position, equalling the original ‘Mr Superpole’ Troy Corser.

38 – In the Superpole Race, it was the 38th time that Bautista, Rea and Razgatlioglu share a rostrum.

25 – 25 consecutive races on the podium for Rea at Aragon came to an end when he was fourth in Race 2. This was the first time in his entire stint with Kawasaki that he didn’t feature on the Aragon podium. 

22/8 – Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s podium in Race 2 was the 22nd of his career and the eighth of 2023, the most he’s enjoyed in a single season. All his podiums came with Ducati, so he’s just one short of Marco Melandri’s tally of 23 with the manufacturer and three short of Giancarlo Falappa’s 25.

20 – 20 wins for Bautista in 2023; this tally on its own would put him in 16th of the all-time win charts. With P2 on the grid, Bautista also had his 20th front row start for Ducati, the same as 2019 teammate Chaz Davies achieved. He’s one behind Italian Davide Guigliano.

14 – A run of 14 points-scoring finishes and top ten results for Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) was ended in the Superpole Race at Aragon, when he couldn’t crack the top nine from the back of the grid, finishing 12th.

6 – Two top six finishes in one weekend for Iker Lecuona (Team HRC), the first time since Barcelona that he achieved that.

5 – 5 wins for Ducati for Rinaldi, who matches the tally of 2004 World Champion James Toseland and 1996 rookie John Kocinski. 

0.475s – The closest WorldSBK race podium at Aragon on this layout (2015 onwards) came in the Superpole Race, when Bautista beat Rea and Razgatlioglu, all covered by just 0.475s.

TWO ROUNDS LEFT: the title race is unmissable; enjoy it for just €9.99 with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


PREVIEW: ball firmly in Bulega’s court as Ducati’s first WorldSSP title edges closer

The FIM Supersport World Championship is ready for a rollercoaster ride at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve just days after an incredible weekend at Aragon. The Pirelli Portuguese Round could be the round where Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) is crowned the 2023 Champion after Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) put the celebrations on ice – for a week, at least. He has a huge advantage of 85 points heading to Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula has served up his best chance yet of wrapping it up early.

TIME TO CELEBRATE? Bulega on the verge of the title

Bulega needs to leave Race 1 75 points ahead of his rival or 50 points after Race 2 to be crowned Champion this weekend, and he has an 85-point advantage heading into Portugal. Manzi is the only rider who can prevent the #11 winning the crown but will need everything to go his way over the next four races to have a chance of beating Bulega to the crown. Last year, Bulega took a best result of 10th at Portimao while Manzi was a winner, with Triumph, here last year. Perhaps 2023 has a new twist to come…

FIGHTING FOR FIFTH: advantage Sofuoglu but Debise closes in…

Rookie of the year winner Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) Is 56 points down on Manzi for second so could finish as runner-up, but he’s also 57 points clear of Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) and those positions, barring lots of drama, seem to be set in stone. ‘Carica’ is 51 points clear of Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) as he searches for a top-five Championship position, but he faces stiff competition from the in-form Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha); the pair are separated by 10 points. Behind them, Niki Tuuli (PTR Triumph) is 11 points back, but the Finn will need to pass a medical check on Thursday following his high-speed crash at Aragon in Race 2.

LOOKING FOR A TOP TEN: 18 points separate five riders

The fight for the lower reaches of the top ten sees five riders separated by just 18 points. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) leads the group on 129 points, with Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) nine behind after three consecutive top-nine finishes. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) and Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) are all covered by just two points and all five in this battle will feel they should be higher up the standings. Portimao is a circuit Huertas won at in WorldSSP300 on his way to the title, while De Rosa has had two podiums here. It’ll be Navarro’s first time racing in WorldSSP at Portimao but he knows the track from Moto2™; he took third at the 2022 Portuguese Grand Prix, his last podium in the class.

CHALLENGE ON THE LINE? The final round of the WorldSSP Challenge awaits

Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) heads into the final WorldSSP Challenge round as the leader and in pole position for the title. Four riders remain in contention but, with 50 points on offer, the Brit will win if he loses less than 12 points or fewer to Tom Edwards (Yart-Yamaha WorldSSP Team), 19 or fewer to Federico Fuligni (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and 23 or fewer to Alvaro Diaz (Arco Yart Yamaha WorldSSP).

RIDER LINE-UP NEWS: wildcards look to impress in Portugal

Ibrahim Norrodin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) returns for a second WorldSSP outing with the team, although this time as a wildcard rather than a substitute rider. His brother, Adam, is on the provisional entry list for the same team but will need to pass a medical check to race. Yeray Ruiz (MDR Offitec Yamaha) is also back for the second week in a row as a wildcard. At D34G Racing, John McPhee replaces Oli Bayliss again after his points-scoring ride in Race 2 at Aragon. Apiwath Wongthananon will not ride but Yamaha Thailand Racing Team have not yet named his replacement. At Aragon, it was Hector Garzo, but he was declared unfit after Sunday morning Warm Up.

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TITLE SECURED: Kawasaki clinch their fifth WorldSSP300 Manufacturers’ Championship

Kawasaki were able to wrap up the Manufacturers’ Championship at MotorLand Aragon with a round to spare in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship. The Japanese brand have had a strong season after losing the title last year to Yamaha and two wins during the Tissot Aragon Round enabled them to fend off strong competition to win the title for the fifth time in seven seasons, while the season could get better for them with two competitors in mathematical contention for the Riders’ Championship.

Kawasaki were beaten by Yamaha last year in the Riders’ and Manufacturers’ Championship but responded strongly with nine wins out of a possible 14 so far in 2023. Four riders have taken victory for them, and they have won at least one race at every round except Imola and Most. Kawasaki have done the double at Assen, Misano, Magny-Cours and Aragon which helped them secure a milestone fifth Manufacturers’ Championship with two races to go.

Petr Svoboda’s (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) Dutch double gave Kawasaki the perfect start to the season before Jeffrey Buis’ (MTM Kawasaki) first of four wins this year came at the next round in Barcelona. At Misano, it was wildcard Bruno Ieraci (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) who doubled up before MTM Kawasaki riders took their next four wins: Buis won two in France and one at Aragon, while rookie Loris Veneman was on the top step in Race 1 at Aragon.

In races where Kawasaki didn’t win, Buis was there to pick up the pieces on three occasions by finishing as the lead rider for the manufacturer, while rookie Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) did with his first podium in Race 2 at Most, and Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) was fourth in Race 1 at the Czech venue to be Kawasaki’s highest-placed rider.

Steve Guttridge, Race Planning Manager at Kawasaki Motors Europe, said about the manufacturer’s success: “There are multiple reasons for Kawasaki and fans to celebrate our fifth manufacturers’ title within the WorldSSP300 Championship. Four Riders’ Championships since the series was inaugurated is something we are very proud of plus over 150 podium places. Perhaps the two things we are proudest of are the facts that WorldSSP300 is a widely recognised feeder route for riders to aspire to a WorldSBK ride and that this series is so closely related to the Ninja machines that fans can buy in any Kawasaki dealership. Now our goal is manufacturers’ title number six!”

There are two Kawasaki riders still in contention for the Riders’ Championship, too. Dutchman Buis could become the first rider to win two titles in WorldSSP300 and he has a 30-point margin over Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) in second. The #6 can win the title in Race 1 at Portimao if he loses five points or less to Perez Gonzalez and Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) is more than 25 points away from the Dutchman.

Watch the final two races of the 2023 WorldSSP300 campaign from Portimao using the WorldSBK VideoPass – only €9.99!


Bulega on his Aragon double: “Amazing weekend… my feeling with the bike was very good from the first lap”

Although Nicolo Bulega’s ( Racing WorldSSP Team) crowning moment was delayed by at least a week at the Tissot Aragon Round, the #11 is still in pole position to take the 2023 FIM Supersport World Championship title after a stunning double at MotorLand Aragon. Bulega was unbeatable in the Tissot Superpole session as he smashed the existing lap record before converting that into two victories to strengthen his grip on the trophy.

Bulega started the weekend by topping Friday’s combined classification ahead of compatriots Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) and Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), and he translated this into a record-breaking pole position. His time was a 1’52.306s as he claimed pole by a huge seven tenths, with Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) and Caricasulo joining him on the front row. Manzi was P5 but promoted to P4 on the Race 1 grid following a penalty for Marcel Scrhoetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse). The Champion-elect’s time was exactly four tenths quicker than the existing pole lap record.

In Race 1, Bulega got the holeshot and immediately stormed clear of his rivals. He was more than seven tenths clear at the end of the opening lap and that gap increased to 3.099s by Lap 5. From there, the Ducati star was able to manage his race to take victory, his 12th of the season, before repeating It in Race 2 for win 13 of the year and his fifth double. Manzi made a last-lap error which dropped him to P11 in Race 1, putting the Ducati rider on course for a first title. In Sunday’s encounter, Bulega was 1.3s clear after Lap 1 and 2.8s after Lap 5. Although the gap did close in the latter stages of the red-flagged race, the Italian added another five points to his Championship lead with Manzi in second.

Discussing his weekend, Bulega said: “It was an amazing weekend. It was incredible because my feeling with the bike was very good from the first lap. I could push when I wanted. I enjoyed it a lot and I started to think about the Championship, but at the same time, I only want to think about the races and the next win.”

Bulega heads into the Portuguese Round with an 85-point margin over rival Manzi and will be crowned Champion in Race 1 if he loses ten points or fewer to his compatriot. The ball is firmly in Bulega’s court to get the title wrapped up in the penultimate round of the season, with the 2024 factory WorldSBK factory Ducati rider aiming to race alongside Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) next year as a World Champion.

Explaining his approach to Portimao, the 23-year-old said: “I think I will do the same as always. I’ll try to work for the race from FP1 and try to be fast in every session. If I’m able to win the race and the title, it’ll be perfect. It can be in the next race but, like I said, I want to stay focused on the races and then, if it’ll be the time for the title, it’ll be even better.”

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