Portimao is destined to go down as the pivotal event in Aprilia's 2012 season after Max Biaggi took a significant stride towards the riders' title, the Italian marque put itself on the cusp of the manufacturers' crown and Eugene Laverty notched up his first win for the team.
The Irishman was confident of challenging for his first win at Portimao having performed well around the Portuguese circuit in the past, but while problems in race one consigned him to a lowly 13th having started the restarted race from pole position, he was the dominant winner of race two.
Sprinting into the lead from the start, Laverty benefitted from problems for Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes behind to at one stage lead by more than three seconds.
Though Jonathan Rea would catch him in the closing stages, Laverty was able to hold on for a long-awaited first Aprilia win, one that gives him a shot at the top five in the overall standings with one round remaining.
"My first win with and for Aprilia came on my favourite track with a lot of my fans trackside, who I'd like to thank. Grip in Race 2 wasn't perfect. I tried to push hard right away to gain an advantage and then I was able to maintain it to the end.
“This year we had some difficult moments, like we had in race one today, but we're finally showing our potential with some good progress at the end of the season.”
A third career WSBK win, Laverty's success also means Aprilia take a 28.5 point lead over BMW into the final round of the season at Magny-Cours.