World Superbike round one was a memorable one for both Leon Haslam and his teammate Sylvain Guintoli, with Haslam leaving Australia with his maiden win and the championship lead, while Guintoli only just missed the race two podium, and is now inside the overall top five.
The official WSBK Suzuki team also enjoyed a good level of performance in January tests at Portimao, which can only add to the confidence level entering the second round of the year.
Haslam has had an almost perfect start to his season, and is a big fan of the Portuguese racetrack he visits this weekend.
"Portimao is a fantastic circuit and probably the most demanding one on the calendar," said Haslam. "I think all riders like it because it is such a challenge and when you do a good lap there, the feeling is fantastic."
"From the very first time I jumped onto the Suzuki I knew that the bike could be a contender and so far, I think we have proved that. The whole team has given me tremendous support and we are all now looking forward to another good weekend in Portimao. I went well there in the preseason tests and I will be chasing two more podiums next weekend for sure."
So far Haslem’s teammate has been a revelation in his rookie full-time WSBK season, but he has raced at Portimao before, last year at the final round of the year.
"I am very pleased with my start to the season and I cannot tell you how happy and comfortable I am with my bike," said Guintoli. "Of course, every time I go out on it I learn a bit more, but already I am thinking of podiums and that is a good feeling to have."
"It has been a long break since the first race and I am itching to get back in the saddle and racing again. Portimao is a great track, but very, very challenging. I think it is one of the best ractreacks in the series and I will be doing my very best to get on the podium there."
Leon Haslem will try to extend his overall World Superbike championship lead in Portimao.