Team mate, Tom Sykes, battled through adversity to take second in a dry-and-wet first 20-lap race, but was forced to finish eighth in race two after a drop in rear tyre pressure all through the 20-laps.
In winning his 24th and 25th career WSB race victories, Rea showed the versatility and adaptability of the Ninja ZX-10R after two very different races. Rea and Sykes were battling it out together in the dry conditions of race one, but with the arrival of a sudden heavy shower and high winds they opted to come in for wet tyres at different times. When Sykes came back out from pitlane, just behind Rea, it looked like a close fight again in the wet. A sudden electronic problem lost Sykes some revs, and therefore pace, until his machine cleared again and he secured second place, nine seconds from Rea. It was Sykes’ seventh podium of the year.
In race two, held in dry conditions, Rea took the lead at half race distance and ran away to record his second win of the day, and his tenth victory since joining Kawasaki this year.
For Sykes a promising race for a podium ended in a struggle with a deflating rear tyre, due to a damaged wheel rim, that dropped his pace significantly on the last few laps and put him in eighth place.
Despite starting off the third row of the grid after a fast crash in Superpole on Saturday, Rea maintained his remarkable record of scoring either first or second in every race this year. He has 330 championship points, only 20 from perfection.
Rea also set the fastest lap of each 20-lap race and took his championship advantage to 124 points over new second place rider Sykes, 330 to 206. Despite his issues today Sykes improved his championship position and he is now seven points ahead of third place man Leon Haslam.
JONATHAN REA:“I have a great bike, a great team around me and great strategy for every weekend. My crew chief Pere and I sit down and work out a good set-up, evaluating our tyres. We learned from some mistakes in Donington that made us stronger here and I am riding well, but I have the tools to do it. So it is massive credit to all my mechanics for working so hard and KHI in Japan, who are continuing to develop. In tomorrow’s test we have some new material to try. We know now where the limit is and we rode two good races today. The points gap is a lot after this round but I will try not change the way I am riding.”
TOM SYKES:“It has not been a great day for us and it was such a shame that we had a small technical issue in race one and the a flat rear tyre in race two. In race one the revs dropped for a while and then it cleared again, so I could finish second. The tyre had started to go down in pressure from the beginning of race two and it is such a shame because I think we had a good bike set-up today. I really wanted to evaluate the bike in race two so we will never truly know the real race performance. We have a test tomorrow so we will use that as a good opportunity to try a few more things. We have had a consistent weekend in many way so it was shame to have this bad luck as Jonathan was on form, and we needed to capitalise.”
Misano hosts the next round of the championship, on Sunday 21st June.
Superbike (1000cc) leaderboard after round 7:
Championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), applied incredible pressure on Jules Cluzel who eventually won round of the 7 World Supersport race. Sofuoglu found himself in fifth on lap one, before slowly making his way forward and overtaking the Frenchman on tour number twelve.
The Cluzel retook the lead at the start of the last lap as the two riders exchanged position twice again, before Cluzel pulled away to just win by 0.184s.
Supersport (600cc) leaderboard after round 7:
|2.||J. CLUZEL||MV AGUSTA||110|
|4.||L. ZANETTI||MV AGUSTA||81|
In what has been dubbed as the clossest race of the year, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) maintained his 100% winning record in the FIM Europe Superstock 600cc Championshipwith another victory at Portimao’s Autodromo do Algarve.
The Turk, who started the race from row number two was already third at Turn 1, ending the opening lap in second before starting the battle for the lead in what was the closest race of the season, which at times had 12 riders locked together. Razgatlioglu eventually won by 0.065s in a photo finish with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki). Razgatlioglu’s fifth win of the season gives him a 64 point lead in the overall standings.
Supersport (600cc) leaderboard after round 7: