Friday Practice at Portimao Could Predict WSBK Championship – Spies 4/10ths Faster Than Haga

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We typically don’t cover the Free Practice/Qualifying sessions in World Superbike, but considering that the entire season will come down to Sunday’s race, we’re making an exception. With QP1 in the bag already at Portimao, we get some insight into how the grid could come together for the last race of the WSBK season, and the results might surprise some people. More after the jump.

Before we get ahead of ourseleves, let’s be clear that there is still another qualifying practice session on Saturday, before the Superpole event takes place, so there’s still a great deal more shuffling that can occur on the WSBK starting grid. Still, the results are compelling for a Ben Spies victory on Sunday.

With Johnny Rea on the provisional pole, Spies trails the Honda rider by under a tenth of a second, and is provisionally 3rd right now. Better yet for the American rider, points rival Noriyuki Haga is swamped back in 9th place, and almost half a second behind Rea. In order to be competitive on Sunday, Haga will have to find an extra 4/10ths of a second per lap in order to keep a wheel on Spies.

Ben Spies needs to win both races this weekend in order to clinch the World Superbike Championship. A “double” on Sunday would mean that regardless of how Haga finishes Spies would either tie or beat Haga in the point standings. Tie-breakers in WSBK are decided on the number of race wins, which Spies has 15, while Haga has 8, meaning the Championship would go to Spies if he ties Haga in points at the end of Sunday’s race.

With the MotoGP Championship likely to be clinched at Sepang this weekend as well, Sunday should be an epic event of racing for motorcycle enthusiasts. We can’t wait.

QP1 Results from World Superbike at Portimao, Portugal:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 65 J. Rea Honda CBR1000RR 1’43.786
2 96 J. Smrz Ducati 1098R 1’43.866 0.080
3 19 B. Spies Yamaha YZF R1 1’43.870 0.084
4 7 C. Checa Honda CBR1000RR 1’43.945 0.159
5 67 S. Byrne Ducati 1098R 1’43.947 0.161
6 10 F. Nieto Ducati 1098R 1’44.005 0.219
7 84 M. Fabrizio Ducati 1098R 1’44.154 0.368
8 3 M. Biaggi Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’44.210 0.424
9 41 N. Haga Ducati 1098R 1’44.254 0.468
10 91 L. Haslam Honda CBR1000RR 1’44.324 0.538
11 71 Y. Kagayama Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’44.674 0.888
12 111 R. Xaus BMW S1000 RR 1’44.822 1.036
13 11 T. Corser BMW S1000 RR 1’44.830 1.044
14 23 B. Parkes Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’44.963 1.177
15 100 M. Tamada Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’44.977 1.191
16 99 L. Scassa Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’45.077 1.291
17 14 M. Lagrive Honda CBR1000RR 1’45.133 1.347
18 66 T. Sykes Yamaha YZF R1 1’45.239 1.453
19 22 L. Camier Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’45.333 1.547
20 15 M. Baiocco Ducati 1098R 1’45.345 1.559
21 25 D. Salom Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’45.390 1.604
22 50 S. Guintoli Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’45.508 1.722
23 9 R. Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR 1’45.676 1.890
24 77 V. Iannuzzo Honda CBR1000RR 1’46.512 2.726
25 94 D. Checa Yamaha YZF R1 1’46.775 2.989
26 88 R. Resch Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’47.961 4.175