Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) and Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike), together with Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) and Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) were given a short welcome to the spectacular Portuguese track by home rider Miguel Praia, whose Parkalgar Honda team is sponsored by the circuit.
ďMagny-Cours is one of my favourite circuits and I made a great result there, but for me here last year was a disaster. But I tested here with Ducati at the start of the year and was very confident with the bike so I think I will like it more here this time. My feeling is the same as all year, ten points is almost nothing, so Iím always thinking to start from zero and attack.Ē
ďItís a shame weíve had a couple of weeks off since Magny-Cours because you want to get to the track and get things done! Iím looking forward to it, but to be able to fight for the title in the last race like this is more than one could ask for. We know what we need to do, and in a way this is how it should be. Noriís been chasing this for some time and Iím trying to do it in the first year. Itís going to be awesome!Ē
ďThe last twelve months have been really good, I came here last year on a Superbike to have a peek at the track, and thatís what Iíll be doing on Tuesday and Wednesday. Iím looking forward to that, but weíve got a job to do this weekend and thatís try and win this title and thereís no reason why I shouldnít win it, but Eugene has been keeping me on my toes all year.Ē
ďIn this race the only thing I can do is go out and try to win. I didnít make things easier for myself when I crashed. I was trying to win the race when it happened. The Parkalgar Honda team have done a fantastic job, I didnít really expect to be fighting for the title in my first year with them.Ē
ďSo far this season has gone well for me, my results did improve a lot over last year, especially because of the fantastic job the Parkalgar boys have done back in the UK regarding the preparation of the bike. Itís been difficult to fight against these guys but Iím still young and Iím still strong so we will see for the future.Ē
Lap record (race):
Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1.43.787 (2008).
Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1í43.340 (2008)
On TV: EUROSPORT (Pan European)
Sunday 25 October.
Supersport 13:15 - 14:00 (live);
Superbike Race 1 15:00 - 15:45 (delayed);
Superbike Race 2 : 15:45 - 16:45 (live).
In memory of Craig Jones
A statue was unveiled today at the entrance to the Portimao circuit in memory of the late Craig Jones, the Parkalgar Honda rider who was killed in last seasonís Supersport round at Brands Hatch.
In the presence of Craigís parents, friends, relatives, media and riders, circuit owner Paulo Pinheiro expressed a few words to commemorate the young British rider. The provisional statue will be replaced by one in stone in the near future.