Portimao, Portugal WSBK Team Previews
Autodromo Internacional do Algarve
by staff
Friday, June 07, 2013

These just in:

A tasty (cooking) challenge for WSBK riders in Portimao

Portimao (Portugal), Thursday 6 June 2013 - What do cooking and motorcycle racing have in common? Today's Pre-Event for Round 6 of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, saw a selection of riders dealing with the challenging preparation of one the most famous and tasty dishes in Algarve, the "Cataplana".

The Cuisine Workshop outside the Portimao Museum, on the dock of the small beautiful Algarvian town, was held by Hans Neuner - named Portugal's Chef of the Year 2009 & 2012 - and his staff - Two Michelin Stars in 2011 for the restaurant "Ocean" at Vila Vita Parc.

WSBK riders Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) and Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) were joined by World Supersport Championship leader Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and Miguel Praia - local star and One Event entry for Team Lorini Honda - and divided into two groups for a master class to reveal their hidden talent for cooking.

All riders then visited the Portimao Museum, a testimony about canning industry, boat building and prehistoric times of the city and got to know about the past and everyday life of the area from a unique point of view.

The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will be on track tomorrow for the first day of Round 6 at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.


PATA Honda

Pata Honda heads south to Portugal

The Pata Honda team is heading to Portugal for this weekend's (7-9 June) sixth-round World Superbike races at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on the southern Portuguese coast.

The challenging and undulating 4.592km circuit, which lies 80km west of Faro, was completed in 2008, just in time for Jonathan Rea's World Superbike debut and a wildcard appearance for his current Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam, and it holds good memories for both riders.

Rea has taken no fewer than five podium finishes at Portimao since that SBK debut and started the 2011 races from pole position. The 26-year-old from Northern Ireland will be keen to get back on the rostrum this weekend after electronics problems dashed his podium hopes last time out at Donington Park in the UK.

Haslam, who celebrated his 30th birthday last Friday, has enjoyed three Portimao podium finishes, but the Portuguese round represents another step towards full fitness for the Derbyshire resident, who broke his left leg at Assen in The Netherlands in April.

Despite battling through the Donington Park qualifying and Superpole sessions, Haslam reluctantly withdrew from the two races, unable to exert enough pressure through the left footpeg of his Pata Honda CBR1000RR to ride it the way he wished.

Jonathan Rea

It took me a while to get over the disappointment of Donington but I've been throwing myself into the TT on the Isle of Man. I've been playing on trials bikes and watching the races and Honda invited me to the Joey Dunlop memorial dinner last Saturday. I usually look forward to the weather in Portugal, but it's been awesome on the Isle of Man this week, where 17 degrees feels like 25, but I really love the Portimao circuit and the surrounding area. It's one of the highlights of the season for me and the undulations throw everything at the rider in a proper test. When the bike's been good this year, it's been really good, but unfortunately the electronics have been a bit of a thorn in our side and that was the case again at Donington. I'm looking forward to this weekend though, and hoping that the guys will be on top of everything to allow us to realise some of the bike's potential.

Leon Haslam

It was tough to miss out on Donington but it was the right call. Even though I made Superpole, I wasn't able to ride the bike how I wanted in order to do the lap time. To do two 23-lap races would've been really tough, but I know that the leg will be better at Portimao. I've been getting more physio and trying to build up the quad muscle in my left leg, which has wasted a bit after not doing much for over a month. I came out to Portugal a couple of days early to get some sun and the weather hasn't disappointed, but Portimao is another physical circuit. Donington is tough because of the heavy braking, but all the ups and downs at Portimao mean you really have to muscle the bike around. With the next round at Imola, I've probably got the three most physical circuits on the calendar for my comeback! I enjoy Portimao though, and got my first Superbike podium for Honda as a wildcard back in 2008, so I'm looking forward to see how we get o n.





Noale, 4 June 2012 - The excitement of the World Superbike Championship continues, with the Aprilia Racing Team playing a key role. After confirming the dual leadership in the rider and manufacturer standings once again during the Donington weekend, the team from Veneto is now aiming for a solid performance on the Autódromo do Algarve at Portimão, a track where the Aprilia RSV4 has always done well.

For ranking leader Sylvain Guintoli, coming from the English double podium, this is a perfect opportunity to tighten his hold on the top position in the rider standings. Eugene Laverty, on the other hand, returns to a track which holds many connections for him: this was the venue of his first test astride the RSV4 in October 2011 as well as the circuit where he then rode the Aprilia 4 cylinder to his first victory last season.

Acknowledged by all as one of the most demanding and spectacular circuits on the calendar, the 4,692 metre track is characterised by its continuous variations in slope. Over the last few seasons it has proven to adapt well to the characteristics of the RSV4, which has always come away the winner or finished toward the top. This weekend's races will certainly confirm the even playing field that has been demonstrated throughout the first part of the championship and both Guintoli and Laverty are looking forward to being in the game.

Sylvain Guintoli: "Portimao is a beautiful track and one of my favourites. After being back on the podiums in Donington, I am looking forward to be able to use the strength of the RSV4 factory on a wider and bigger track".

Eugene Laverty: "Portimao is perhaps my favourite circuit on the calendar and so I'm looking forward it. We've had a really strong season so far and I'll be aiming for another victory this weekend. It will be important to finish on the podium in both races as my title rivals are very consistent".


Alstare Ducati

Team SBK Ducati Alstare prepare for Portugal, and Round 6 of the 2013 World SBK Championship

Portimao (Portugal), Tuesday 4th June 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare and riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini prepare to travel towards the ?Autodromo Internacional do Algarve' in Portimao, Portugal for the sixth round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship taking place this coming weekend.

Just over a week since round 5 at Donington Park in the UK, both Checa and Badovini are enthusiastic about returning to the Portuguese track in what will hopefully be sunny conditions. Carlos is continuing with intensive physiotherapy in order to be as prepared as possible for the next races. His left shoulder is responding well to treatment and the Spaniard is working extremely hard to get back in shape.

The 2011 World Champion has reached the Portimão rostrum on more than one occasion in recent years, both as a race winner and as a runner-up, and always enjoys racing at this particular circuit. Ayrton, having finished race one at Donington in eleventh position while unfortunately suffering a fall in the second, is focusing on scoring two solid results come Sunday. The Italian's best result to date at the Portuguese track was a sixth place finish in 2011.

Carlos Checa:
"My aim is to regain strength and prepare as well as possible for this weekend's races. At Donington I was probably around a 6 out of 10 but now I feel like an 8. I'm going to the gym and continuing with physiotherapy every day here in Spain and am in contact with the Clinica Mobile who will help me with treatments throughout the race weekend. We'll have to see how I am once I complete race distance but the Portimão track should be less of a problem than Donington, one of the most physical layouts. To be honest I thought I could have done race 2 at Donington but I thank Francis and Ernesto for having made me see that it was best to sit it out - it was the right decision because my shoulder's had time to regain strength and stability. I'd like recovery to be quicker but I understand that, now I'm 40, maybe it takes a little longer. I hope I can soon put this behind me and concentrate instead on my technical growth with the bike."

Checa's Superbike form at Portimão:
2012: Race 1 - 2nd, Race 2 - 5th
2011: Race 1- winner, Race 2 - 4th
2010: Race 1 - 4th, Race 2 - 4th
2009: Race 1 - 7th, Race 2 - DNF
2008: Race 1 - 2nd, Race 2 - 7th

Ayrton Badovini:
"Portimao's a track that I really like although I've never been particularly fast there during races, only during winter testing. I'm feeling confident anyway. We should be able to make the most of some decent weather there in June and technically-speaking the track shouldn't be so difficult for us and the Panigale, actually it might even help us out. I'm feeling very motivated and look forward to the weekend, perhaps it might even mark a turning point for us."


Althea Racing Team - Portimao SBK preview

The sixth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at the "Autodromo Internacional do Algarve" in Portimao, Portugal over the weekend of June 7/8/9. Designed to be one of the best and most modern circuits in Europe, the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve benefits from the best conditions of safety and comfort both for drivers and the public. There are 64 different possible layouts of the circuit, including those that have already been approved by the FIA for Formula 1 and by the FIM for the World Superbike Championship races. The natural relief of the terrain enabled the creation of a unique circuit, with accentuated undulations, making driving a pleasure, since the curves and straights follow each other at an exciting rhythm with accentuated declines. For the public this characteristic is spectacular, allowing a wide view from any stand.

Circuit main characteristics: Length: 4.592km
Pole Position: right
Corners 16
Superbike - lap record : Max Biaggi (Aprilia) - 2010 - 1'42"774 Superbike - best lap : Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) - 2012 - 1'41"415

After Davide Giugliano's convincing performance during the Donington race weekend just two weeks ago, team Althea Racing is optimistic about the Portimao round, and plans to confirm the progress made so far in this season's championship. On the Portuguese track, that suits the characteristics of the Aprilia RSV4, Genesio Bevilacqua's team will work hard to achieve the best possible results while Giugliano hopes to gain valuable points with which to improve his position in the championship standings.

Davide Giugliano: "The Portimao round is one of my favourites because I really like the track and it's always nice to spend a few days in the Algarve. I hope that Portugal will bring us favourable conditions and some hot weather at last. After the two Donington races we are even more convinced about our capabilities and possibilities. I hope to be in the leading group at Portimao, making the most of my RSV4's great potential. I'm not setting a specific objective, other than to give it my all and achieve good results, for me and my team."



BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Portimao - Preview

Munich/Milan, 3rd June 2013. This weekend (7th to 9th June), the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team will be in action in the south of the Iberian peninsula. The "Autódromo Internacional do Algarve" near Portimão (POR) will host the sixth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. The first third of the season is already completed. After five rounds, factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) have claimed a total of seven podium finishes on their BMW S 1000 RRs, including three victories.

In the Riders' classification, Marco is currently fourth with 127 points. Chaz follows directly behind, being fifth with 112 points. In the Manufacturers' classification, BMW is third with 175 points, with a gap of 33 points to the lead. Last week, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team conducted two days of testing at Spanish "Motorland Aragon". In preparation for the next rounds, Marco and Chaz tried several new settings and updated components.

After a four week break, the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup resumes at Portimao, contesting its fourth round of the season. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team and riders Sylvain Barrier (FRA) and Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) are eager to celebrate more successes with the brand new BMW HP4. After they were involved in a heavy crash at the previous round in Monza (ITA), both riders are fully fit and ready for the Portimao weekend.

Portimao from the rider's point of view:

Marco Melandri:

"Portimao is a pretty technical track, similar to Assen and Donington. There are some very slow turns and some very fast corners. It is undulating with some blind crests. In general Portimao has a quite unique layout and consequently, it is not easy to find a good set-up. In addition, the track is very bumpy so we need to improve a bit more to be competitive. As it is very difficult to overtake there, it will be important for us to have a good qualifying."

Chaz Davies:

"Portimao is a great circuit. Because of its character, it is one of my favourite tracks. It is difficult to find the right set-up but I always enjoy riding there and I have been competitive there in the past. It is fun as it has a lot of elevation changes, and some of them are quite steep. I am looking forward to the weekend. The first priority is not to encounter some of the issues we had at the last couple of races. Then my plan is to qualify well and to push for a podium."

Portimao from a sporting point of view:

Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):

"After the Donington races we had two positive days of testing at Spanish Aragon last week. Even if we were a little bit hampered by the weather conditions, Marco and Chaz could test new solutions which will be useful at this next race weekend in Portimao. The Portuguese track is very technical, with uphill and downhill sections. For our riders it will be important to start the round with a good base in order to be able to continue their work over the weekend with confidence. We are sure that from the two days of testing we found the solutions we were looking for. Now we are focused on the next races."

Portimao from a technical point of view:

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):

"The whole team is looking forward to the next races in Portimao. It is a track where in the past we have shown a good speed but for a series of unlucky circumstances we did not claim the expected results. It is a very busy time for all our guys. After Donington, we went to Aragon for an important test where we could work on the main issues we had experienced in England. We have partly fixed or better understood them so we now want to see the results of this work in Portimao. Our competitors are becoming stronger and stronger so we must keep our heads down and work harder in order to improve the performance of our machine. Only in this way we will be able to maintain the competitiveness of our package and give our riders the chance to win races.

The Portuguese racetrack with its elevation changes and several uphill and downhill sections requires a lot of work, not only on finding the right chassis setting but also the right riding dynamic strategies. We need to find the best compromise between handling and stability, trying to keep our performance as consistent as possible. We expect that our RR will suit the characteristic of this racetrack as it has done in the past."

Portimao from Pirelli's point of view:

Since this is the first time the FIM World Superbike Championship will be held at Portimão in the month of June, Pirelli will be bringing various solutions, some of which were already used at Phillip Island and Monza, in SC0 and SC1 compounds which best adapt to operating in the heat. The Superbike class riders will be able to count on four slick solutions for the front and four for the rear, in addition to the qualifier, intermediate and wet solutions. On the front the standard SC1 (R426) in soft compound (already brought to the first five rounds and ideal for low external temperatures and/or medium harsh tracks) will be joined by three SC2 compound solutions: the R982, which is the standard SC2 which has been brought to all the rounds this year, excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees a solid tread, the R1220, a development solutions that was already brought to both Phillip Island and Monza and the alternative to the standard SC2 solution which is a bit less robust and the R753, another development solution in alternative to the standard SC2, also brought to Phillip Island and Monza, even more robust than the R1220 and therefore better able to withstand the aggressive nature of the asphalt and more suited for riders who are hard on the brakes.

On the rear there will be two SC0 and two SC1 solutions. The standard SC0, (R1261) is confirmed as one of the best options in case of high temperatures. In fact, it is ideal for tackling smooth asphalt and high temperatures because it provides maximum contact area on smooth asphalt and maximum traction development at high temperatures, in addition to its greater performance stability under thermal decline. As an alternative to the standard tyre the riders will be able to opt for the S502, an SC0 development in soft compound that should guarantee greater performance stability, especially in the event of high temperatures. On the other hand, the SC1 are both development solutions: the R1255, a medium blend that was already brought to Phillip Island, should be more robust and consistent than the standard solutions usually used and capable of better dissipating the heat. The S514, which made its debut at Monza, uses the same compound as the standard SC1 solution but it has a reinforced central strip and was designed with different internal materials in order to maintain particularly low operating temperatures. At Portimão, precisely because of the probability of high temperatures which could cause blistering, the same Superpole tyre (S516) with a reinforced central section compound already used in Monza will be present.


Portimao is a coastal town on the Algarve in the south of Portugal with a population of 50,000. It is located almost 300 kilometres south of the capital of Lisbon and about 70 kilometres west of Faro. Tourists love the picturesque region with its many beaches, impressive cliffs, golf courses and many other leisure opportunities. Portimao also enjoys a good reputation when it comes to motor racing. Its unique layout makes the "Autodromo Internacional do Algarve" popular among automobile drivers and motorcyclists alike. The circuit belongs to the "Algarve Motor Park", which is also home to a kart track and a racing driver school.

It is located in the hilly countryside around Portimao and was inaugurated in the autumn of 2008 with the season finale of the Superbike World Championship. Many other motorbike and automobile championships also stage races there. The challenging layout and generally good weather conditions also make Portimao a popular test circuit.

Some riders regard Portimao as one of the nicest tracks in the world. Uphill and downhill sections, changes in direction and gradient, crests, some complex sections, a lot of long, quick corners and a winding infield make the circuit a real challenge for riders and teams alike. The riders must show plenty of courage to react aggressively, while riding ability and fitness are crucial. The teams must find the right compromise in the set-up of the bike. Good steering response is essential when accelerating out of the corners. In addition, the front wheels of the powerful superbikes can easily lose contact with the ground as they race over the crests. One key point is the final turn: here, it is important to take enough speed out of the corner and onto the start-finish straight, which is almost one kilometre in length.


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