The opening race at the Portuguese Round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship has been contested today at Portimão’s Autodromo do Algarve, with Stefan Bradl forced to an early retirement after crashing out of eighth place on lap three. His Red Bull Honda World Superbike team mate for the round, Takumi Takahashi, crossed the line in 15th position and by doing so he earned his first World Superbike point.
After successfully taking part in Superpole 2 and then qualifying in eighth place on the grid for the 20-lap race, Stefan Bradl got a great launch off row three and by the end of the opening lap he was already up to sixth position. The German rider then lost one place after running wide at turn 1 and, as the third lap was drawing to a close, he had a highside at turn 14: due to the damage sustained by the bike during the crash, he was unable to re-join the encounter.
Takumi Takahashi started his maiden World Superbike race from 19th place on the grid and, after maintaining his position at the start, he found his own rhythm as he continued to make experience with the WorldSBK-spec version of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and Pirelli tyres around the 4.592km track located in the southwestern edge of mainland Europe.