Career best eighth for Danilo & solid points for Sebestyen at Portimao

Starting from the third row of the grid in today’s FIM Supersport World Championship race at Portimao, CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Jules Danilo found the pace to produce his WorldSSP best finish of eighth position and the best result for the team since the 2019 season opener at Philip Island in February.

Danilo didn’t get the best start to the 18-lap race but was confident he could get the better of Okubo and Perolari until the race was red-flagged on lap 13 following De Rosa’s technical issue. The result moves the Frenchman up to 13th place in the Championship standings with 32 points.

Danilo said: “Best result of the year so I’m happy.  The gap to the front is also really good, the lap times are good it just got red flagged 4 laps too early.  I was catching that group really fast but I also knew I had to push in the small corners like turns 5 & 8 because the Yamahas were running such different lines and they could pass me there so I made a few mistakes and Pons was able to pass me. It was a bit of shame because he could see I was almost 7 tenths faster the lap I passed him so if he had stayed behind we would have lost less time and I’m quite sure within two laps we could have been with Perolari.  The bike was REALLY good I mean, compared to the Yamahas in the straight, there is no problem at all.  We worked really hard with Stu all weekend we were really consistent and we have a better understanding of the bike. Now I need to start getting some serious points to finish in the top ten of the Championship.”

Despite the challenge of starting in fifteenth position, Peter Sebestyen enjoyed a solid points scoring result with an eleventh place. Like his teammate, he was frustrated by the shortening of the race but was ultimately happy with his performance. Sebestyen collects another five valuable points and retains his tenth position in the Championship standings.

Sebestyen said: “The race was not so bad, a little bit short.  I’m a little frustrated about the weekend I think we could do much better.  I had the perfect race bike.  I made a mistake on the start and my first lap was coming from my frustration but then I started to relax and I was riding perfectly.  I could save my tyres and I could do very good laps. I’d already caught the group in front of me so I really needed some more laps.  I’m really happy because by far it was my best riding of the season.  I hope we will have the same bike in Magny Cours and I’m sure we can do top six.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “It was a good race, the closest gap in lap time to the leaders.  For sure we had the set up for the whole race distance, the gap down to Hikari and Perolari was 1.7s and I’m really confident that both Jules and Peter would have caught them and one of them could have finished in the top six.  It’s a shame that the race didn’t go full distance from that point of view but from the point of view of the performance of both riders in the race, it was their strongest performance this year.  It was a big shame for Jules there on the 3rd row, he just missed the start it was like he didn’t react and that is what cost him three places.  Of course, had he not done that he would have already been in the battle for sixth, so he missed a chance there but both riders rode well in the race.  Peter too, you have to qualify well, you cannot have bad sessions but both were riding well, the team is working great and the bike is going good. We‘ll go to the next race at Magny Cours and as I always say, it’s every corner, every lap every session to concentrate and make sure you are getting the best out of the bike for us to have the opportunity to challenge for top six.”