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World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea is on the pace to gain in Spain

By Roy Harris

It was a weekend of contrasting fortunes for local riders in World Superbike and British Championship meetings at the weekend.

At Jerez in Spain Jonathan Rea took fourth and fifth in the two WSB races in which Eugene Laverty was a sixth place finisher in both.

Italian Marco Melandri on his Aprilia dominated the meeting taking a double victory.

Rea, the subject of much speculation about which team he will line up for in 2015, started race one from 10th on the grid and rode a strong race to finish in fourth ahead of championship leader Tom Sykes — Rea’s possible team-mate at Kawasaki next year if rumour is to be believed.

Again Rea had to battle his way through in race two getting the better of Laverty, Loris Baz and Ron Haslam on his way through to fifth to consolidate third in the championship chase behind Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli with four races remaining.

Rea commented, “I’m really happy with the results and it’s a massive thanks to my Pata Honda team for turning my bike around overnight. After qualifying we were on the wrong side of the top 10 and chasing our tails with a 4-5 finish certainly not on the cards. In the end my pace was really strong in both races after the engine and front end changes.”

Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) meanwhile was disappointed with his finishes saying, “Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I had a problem off the line in race one and went backwards — but then made good progress although sixth wasn’t what I expected.

“The second race I made a better start and I think from start to finish it was the best race I could have possibly had, but it was only good enough for sixth,” Laverty added.

At Donington Park Glenn Irwin scored a magnificent win in the British Supersport sprint race on Saturday getting the better of Luke Mossey in the closing stages before finishing fifth in yesterday’s feature race after a huge battle with the Smiths Triumphs of Billy McConnell and Graeme Gowland and Luke Stapleford, as Mossey won comfortably.

Seeley on the other hand could only finish eighth in the sprint race and then the Mar-Train Yamaha rider crashed out of yesterday’s race on the 14th lap of 18 while in sixth position, his championship chances disappearing rapidly, as he is now 59 points behind series leader McConnell while Irwin, in fourth place, has closed to within 10 points of Seeley with six races remaining.

Meanwhile, Andy Reid shattered the lap record in the Superstock 600cc race on his way to a four second victory on his FXX Yamaha, his fifth win of the series and one that takes him within three points of championship leader Kyle Ryde with just two races remaining in the series.

Michael Dunlop finished the Irish road racing season in style at Killalane yesterday by racing to an unusual double.

Dunlop came from from 14th on the grid to win the Grand Final by over two and-a-half seconds from the Wilson Craig Honda of Jamie Hamilton with CD Racing runner Derek Shiels third, the 11-time TT winner having earlier won the 350cc Classic race.

In what was a difficult day for the Loughshinney Club with numerous red flag incidents Derek McGee clinched the Supersport race victory by six tenths of a second from Hamilton with Shiels again in third.

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