Belfast Telegraph

Jonathan Rea 'super satisfied' after strengthening World Superbike lead over arch-rival Bautista


Podium power: Chaz Davies, Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu celebrate following Superbike race one
Podium power: Chaz Davies, Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu celebrate following Superbike race one

Jonathan Rea missed out on another World Superbike treble at Laguna Seca but further strengthened his grip on the world championship lead.

The Ballyclare man had made it a double by adding Superpole success to the race one win, while second placed Alvaro Bautista failed to score any points in either.

He was beaten into second by Chaz Davies in the US round's final race, later revealing that some 'small warnings' cause him to ease off.

Rea now leads Bautista by 81 points, having made 142 point on Bautista in the last ten races, of which the reigning champion has won eight.

"I would never have believed you if you told me I would come here and set a new lap record, win two races and take the overall lead, so it has been a great weekend," he said.

"We made a very small change to the bike between the Superpole race and Race Two. My feeling was completely different, which we did not expect.

“There was a lot of front movement, whereas all weekend before that we had been strong with the front. I had a few small warnings, just enough for me to roll it back a bit, think about finishing and we got it done.

“I am just super-satisfied with this weekend and I did the best I could in race two. I am looking forward to the summer break now.”

Eugene Laverty finished in 12th position in race two as he continues his comeback from injury.

Rea, endeared by the fans, celebrated his race one win in style by spraying them with Prosecco and then gave 'high fives' to those lining the front of the podium area.

Meanwhile, racing at Walderstown's Race of the South in Co Westmeath yesterday was abandoned following a serious incident during the Senior Support race that claimed the life of a 34-year old Northern Ireland competitor.

He was critically injured in the crash and after medical treatment at the circuit was airlifted to the Mater hospital in Dublin with a doctor on board, but he succumbed to his injuries.

Prior to the abandonment Derek Sheils had triumphed in the seven-lap open race from Michael Sweeney and Derek McGee - returning from injuries sustained during the TT in June - and Vinny Brennan won a Junior Support non-championship race.

Belfast Telegraph


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