Jonathan Rea's Spanish step towards Superbike title
Despite feeling under the weather, due to a virus, Jonathan Rea continued his fine start to his World Superbike Championship campaign by taking a first and second in yesterday's third round at Motorland Aragon in Spain to extend his lead in the series to 26 points over Leon Haslam.
In race one, Ballyclare rider Rea allowed Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies to set the pace in the early stages before diving under the Ducati to snatch second and then repeat the move on Sykes to take the lead with eight laps remaining.
On the final lap, Davies got his nose in front twice, but the confident Rea clung on to the inside line at the final bend to take the chequered flag five one hundredths of a second ahead of the Welshman to record his fourth win of the season.
In race two, Davies snatched the early lead and simply left the rest trailing in his wake to record his first win of the season three seconds ahead of Rea, who held off a race long challenge from a determined Leon Haslam and show championship winning form with four wins and two second places in the first six races of the season.
Sykes suffered a huge high side from his Kawasaki on lap five, fortunately without serious injury.
Afterwards Rea said: "I really feel terrible, suffering from some sort of virus, and did not expect to win here today because Tom and Chaz are really fast riders and this is their best circuit.
"So to finish first and second is a bit surreal. In race one I bided my time unsure how hard to push, as we had not worked with this rear tyre before this weekend.
"I think I rode a clever race because the gap at one stage was one and a half seconds. So to close that down without abusing the tyre and have some grip left for the end was hard work.
"Race two was a different matter. Chaz just disappeared in front and I had no answer to him. Despite Leon's challenge I just kept sensible to maintain the championship lead as we move on to Assen next week."
Eugene Laverty finished a creditable 16th on his Aspar Honda, one up from his starting position, in last night's MotoGP round at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Marc Marquez stamped his authority on the race by winning by more than 2.3 seconds on his Repsol Honda.
Andrea Dovizioso made it another podium for the resurgent Ducati Team, as he won the fight for second ahead of the Movistar Yamaha of Valentino Rossi, who leads the Championship standings.
Michael Dunlop took in the Thundersport GB meeting at Donington Park at the weekend to get more track time on his Milwaukee Yamaha, winning the first GP1 race on Saturday, but yesterday he failed to finish the second race and did not start the third.
At the same meeting, 17-year old Ballynahinch rider Korie McGreevy, riding the IMR Triumph, finished second in Saturday's Sportsman Elite race before winning the second race yesterday, his first mainland victory.
In contrasting conditions at Scarborough over the weekend Tyco BMW rider Guy Martin was the overall victor of the feature Spring Cup, taking a three and a half second win over Ryan Farquhar on Saturday, but in yesterday's wet second leg, Martin finished a steady fourth in a race won by Daley Mathison, good enough to give Hector and Phillip Neill's man the overall win.
Dean Harrison was a double winner of the two Superbike races on his new Mar-Train R1 Yamaha while Ryan Farquhar scored a double success in the Classic Superbike races and Ivan Linton was the overall winner of the Supertwin and Supersport classes.
In the opening races of the 2015 Adelaide Masters series at Mondello Park, there were treble victories in the Superbike class for Derek Sheils on his Bike Bits NI Kawasaki and in the Supersport races for Robert English, riding the IFS backed Triumph.