World Superbikes: Buoyant Rea reigns in Brno
Jonathan Rea and Italian legend Max Biaggi shared the spoils during yesterday’s two World Superbike races at Brno in the Czech Republic.
But Toomebridge youngster Eugene Laverty was out of luck in the Supersport class, retiring from the action after his Parkalgar Honda developed a terminal engine problem.
Laverty has also relinquished his championship lead, and now trails series leader Kenan Sofuoglu by 21 points and second placed Joan Lascorz by seven, with only four races remaining.
After dispensing with Biaggi and Cal Crutchlow on the opening lap of 20 in race one, Rea was never challenged; eking out a comfortable three second gap which he held to the flag for his third win of the season. Biaggi eventually got the better of Crutchlow in the closing laps for second place.
Rea said: “I was disappointed not to make it the perfect weekend with two wins after dominating race one.
“We now need to come back stronger: and in that I mean me, the team and Honda.
“We also need to start performing every weekend and not just one weekend, but I’d like to thank all the Northern Ireland fans who made the trip to cheer me on here at Brno.”
In race two, Rea held the lead for the opening six laps as he and Biaggi pulled away from the pursuing pack after the Aprilia man had dispensed with Ruben Xaus on the factory BMW. But once Biaggi hit the front on lap seven, Rea had no answer, riding comfortably and sensibly to second place, topping up his points tally to 45 for the meeting.
Rea now moves back into third place in the championship standings on 203 points, closing the gap to 81 points over second placed man Leon Haslam [Alstare Suzuki] who could only manage eighth and tenth placed finishes at Brno. Biaggi continued to stretch his lead at the championship summit after his 45 point hall, and with a 68 point gap to Haslam, the Roman Emperor is now very much odds on favourite to lift his first WSB title at Magny Cours in October.
Eugene Laverty may have lost his World Supersport championship lead, but the main paddock gossip was about Laverty’s possible change of team in 2011 to Sterilgarda Yamaha. Rumour has it the factory supported Yamaha World Superbike effort are poised to pair up Laverty with Texas Tornado Colin Edwards, with Cal Crutchlow poised to fill Edwards’ vacant seat at Tech 3 Yamaha in MotoGP.