Sam Lowes produced his most combative display of the season to take his fourth consecutive World Supersport win of 2013 at a frantic round six in Portimão.
Already holding a commanding 30-point lead going into the Portuguese round, Lowes could have been forgiven for settling for a solid podium finish.
Instead he won a four-way last lap duel with the Mahi Kawasaki pairing of Fabien Foret and Kenan Sofuoglu, plus Pata Honda's Michael van der Mark, to push his title advantage to 39 points.
Lowes had to contend with a top speed disadvantage along the 800 metre start finish straight and believes the Kawasaki duo adopted tactics to try and overcome the Lincolnshire rider throughout the race.
With a lap and half remaining he found himself pushed back to fourth but, speaking to Crash.net
after the race, he revealed:
“I had quite a lot of speed compared to the other guys and was just waiting. Every time I led on the straight I just kept getting passed there. It was a bit of a mad dash at the end but I knew I had a plan. I pushed quite a lot and made a good lap time so I'm happy.
“My pit board was telling me [the others were close behind]. There's not much you can do unless you get your head down and pull away.”
Foret ran an error-strewn race at the front and, at times, seemed to be attempting to disrupt Lowes' rhythm. Sofuoglu then slowed the pace by over a second when he took the lead on lap 15, bringing his team-mate back into the leading battle.
Lowes however remained unperturbed by the attention of the Kawasaki pair.
“Whenever Kenan got to the front he slowed the pace a lot. More than a lot actually, it was ridiculous, more than one second slower, which wasn't good and it allowed other guys into the race. But it was no problem. This is racing.