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Lorenzo Savadori has moved into the lead of the 2014 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup with just two rounds remaining after claiming a second consecutive win in Portimao.
The Pedercini Kawasaki rider, who won last time out at in Misano, started from pole position but was made to work hard for his Portimao success as difficult weather conditions allowed lesser-fancied riders to make a challenge.
Indeed, Savadori began the weekend facing an uphill task to close the 14 point gap to the ultra-consistent Leandro Mercado, but Barni Ducati would go on to suffer a dismal race as Ondrej Jezek saw his title hopes all-but-ended by early technical dramas, while Mercado was evidently struggling in the damp, but drying conditions.
Instead, an unlikely trio emerged out front during the early stages, headed up by British rider Kyle Smith, who led Matthieu Lussiana and David McFadden in the slippery conditions, with Savadori holding station in a comfortable, but relatively distant fourth.
Closely matched out front, Smith, Lussiana – who has just one SSTK 1000 podium in 51 starts to his name – and McFadden each took turns out in the lead, but their squabbling would allow Savadori to close in over the final laps.
With Lussiana back out front with three laps remaining, Savadori – having worked his way up to second place – pounced for the lead into the first turn and proceeded to pull away as the circuit quickly dried for a second consecutive Superstock 1000 win.
With Mercado finishing down in ninth after steadily slipping down the order, Savadori has not only reeled in his title rival, but has moved ahead by four points with just races at Jerez and Magny-Cours remaining.
His best-ever result having made his SSTK debut in 2009, Lussiana held on for second place aboard the Garnier by ASPI Kawasaki, while McFadden made it an all-Kawasaki rostrum as he claimed his first podium for MRS.
Losing ground in the closing stages, Smith had to settle for fourth place, but was well ahead of his Racedays Honda team-mate Josh Day in fifth position, the American claiming his best result of the year. Fabio Massei was sixth, ahead of Federico D'Annunzio, Romain Lanusse, the struggling Mercado and Balazs Nemeth rounding out the top ten.