Smith clinches first podium of the season

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Kyle Smith claimed his first podium of the season and gave Honda its first World Supersport podium of 2018 with a superb ride to second place in today’s incident filled race at Portimão in Portugal.

Smith got a great start from the third row of the grid and was looking on course to achieve his objective of a top five finish.   After Smith had caught and overtaken De Rosa for third in the latter stages of the race, leader Mahias was apparently out with a puncture and the race was red-flagged when Hartog and Quero Martinez crashed together at turn 11.  In accordance with the rules this moved Smith up to second position.

Smith said: “I’m really happy to be back on the podium.  I was a little bit fortunate with a couple of guys going down although besides that the pace was good, I felt strong. I managed to catch De Rosa and once I was behind him I felt comfortable. I managed to pass him and I felt confident so it’s a step in the right direction and hopefully we can keep fighting up front.”

Teammate Peter Sebestyen’s second outing with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda ended prematurely when he made a small mistake at turn one losing the front putting him out of the race with eleven laps to go.

Sebestyen said: “So the main problem for me is Superpole, I have to put together one fast lap.  I have to improve this.  My race pace is good enough to score points and to be in the top ten but from 17th this is not easy. My start was not so bad but it could be better.  I was fighting with Hartog and just when I passed him I made a mistake and my speed in the corner was too much.   It was my fault but next time I have to improve my fast lap.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “A great race for Kyle and us as a team.  Genuine top five placing. You can say there was some good fortune but we’ve had bad luck, people have bad luck and he rode a great race. If we look at all the sectors of the race for everybody, he was fastest in three of the four sectors so he had genuine race pace. It’s a real boost for the team to get this podium with 2nd in the race.  I’d like to say thank you to MecTronik for the great steps we’ve made this week with the new system and there’s more to come.  For those people who feel it is a Yamaha cup, it isn’t.  We are using these races as development for next year, we will be there next year with a strong package and challenging at the front.  Congratulations to Stu and George and everybody in the team for the great work we do, it’s a reward for all the hard work we put in.”

“Peter as we thought had the pace to be in the points, he was in the points.  Hartog was hard for him to overtake and he got into turn one and probably got a little impatient. He lost the front and crashed out and didn’t capitalise on his opportunity to actually get points.  He sees the pace is there, he is confident in CIA Landlord Insurance Honda and our package to be able to show what he can do. We are looking forward as a team to Magny Cours. Let’s see what we can do in the rest of the season, I can’t wait for it.”

Results Race

1 F. Caricasulo

2 K. Smith CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +5.784

3 R. De Rosa +6.199

4 R. Krummenacher +9.581

5 S. Cortese +20.419

6 H. Soomer +22.605

7 A. Badovini +23.787

8 T. Gradinger +25.004

9 H. Okubo +25.009

10 H. Barbera 29.862

RET P. Sebestyen CIA Landlord Insurance Honda