Belfast Telegraph

Double Dutch for Jonathan Rea stretches superb start in World Superbike Championshipp

By Paul Lindsay

Jonathan Rea stretched his lead in the World Superbike Championship to an impressive 50 points after a sublime Dutch double at the famous TT Circuit in Assen aboard his factory Kawasaki ZX-10R yesterday.

It really has been a fairytale start to the season for the Ulsterman, who has won six of this season's eight races so far, and two second places in the other outings have helped his championship arithmetic, which leaves the Isle of Man-based racer on 190 points after just four rounds.

Rea, who had to hold off late charges from Welshman Chaz Davies [Ducati] in both races for his victories, said afterwards: "I feel awesome to win two races at Assen but, just like in Thailand, I need to sit down and savour this moment," said Rea, who joins an elite club of racers who have secured back-to-back World Superbike doubles.

"There was a lot of pressure on me coming here, as everyone was talking about how Assen was my circuit," said Rea, who spent many seasons riding for the Dutch-based Ten Kate squad who used the venue as their testing circuit.

Recounting the races Rea added: "We chose a different rear tyre in race two and it worked out well. The second race was slightly different because I knew Tom (Sykes) would be fast in the beginning.

"The race was a bit faster at the start and slower at the end because of that. When Chaz put a pass on me and I saw Tom slowing I knew that it could end up being a messy fight.

"This one is for all my mechanics who have been working tirelessly and all the people at KHI. Hopefully now we can go to Imola and do a similar job, but this one feels very special."

In the British Championship, Fermanagh's Josh Elliott again made all the headlines by backing up his opening round second place at Donington Park, with his debut win on the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit yesterday.

It wasn't without drama though, as pole man Elliott had fellow Ulsterman Alastair Seeley on the Tyco BMW to deal with for the duration of the Superstock 1000cc encounter.

Seeley looked to have the race wrapped up with a comfortable gap on the final lap, but an electrical fire caused the Carrick man's BMW to agonizingly cut out two corners from home - leaving him to all but free-wheel over the line for fifth place.

Seventeen-year-old County Offaly lad Kevin Keyes also had a great weekend at Brands in the KTM British Junior Cup taking a well-deserved victory in the all-new class for 13 to 18-year-old novice competitors.

The Edenderry racer is a former Adelaide Masters Supersport Cup champion, but his performance at Brands Hatch in the KTM series - where he scored a second and a fifth place, before his fabulous victory - is testament to his dedication, and he is certainly one to watch for the future.

In the British Supersport class, Carrick's Glenn Irwin took fourth place in the feature race and holds the same position in the championship table after two rounds on his Gearlink Kawasaki.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph