This weekend will see the biggest event ever to be held at the Autodromo International do Algarve (AIA) in terms of actual sporting importance.
Second only to the MotoGP class, the final round of both the World Superbike and Supersport Championships starting today (Friday) has not only what are generally considered to be some of the best motorcyclists competing today taking to the new race track, but also a Portugal-based rider challenging for one of the two elite crowns.
Parkalgar managing director Paulo Pinheiro says: “I am sure we will have an excellent weekend with great and highly competitive racing. For some years now the Superbike and Supersport titles have not remained undecided until the last day of the season, a fact which lends the Portimao round all the more importance.”
Speaking at a press conference in Lisbon last week, he continued: “When we started our track team Parkalgar-Honda we were the smallest outfit in the paddock- almost a case of David v Goliath. To be in title contention bears testament to the rapid evolution and hard work done here. If we do not win the championship on Sunday we will at the very least lose with ‘fair play’”.
Following a positive two-day test at the track earlier this week, star performer Eugene Laverty from Northern Ireland was equally enthusiastic: “I am in my second home and I feel enormous satisfaction to be racing here. There is no pressure, ( he needs to come first while England’s championship leader Cal Crutchlow must finish out of the points) but I will obviously give my all to win this race!”
On a weekend which has a Portuguese team competing for the Supersport world title for the first time ever, Parkalgar-Honda manager Simon Buckmaster said: “It would really make our day on Sunday if we could repay the circuit by winning here for them and the Portuguese fans- and we still have a chance at the world title and haven’t given up on that either.”
Forecasts predict that the sun will return in time for tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday’s racing spectacular- make sure you don’t miss the by far the biggest motor sport event the western Algarve has ever witnessed!
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