Belfast Telegraph

Hamilton saluted by Rea after latest victory in World Superbike Championship

By Paul Lindsay

Jonathan Rea extended his lead at the top of the World Superbike Championship table to 133 points after taking the race two victory yesterday at Misano.

The factory Kawasaki rider dedicated his eleventh win of the season to fellow Ballyclare man Jamie Hamilton, who is currently recovering in hospital after crashing out of this year's Senior TT.

Rea took a tyre gamble in race one, and despite fighting back to finish second behind team-mate Tom Sykes, with Welshman Chaz Davies third on the Ducati, Rea admitted afterwards that he'd gone the wrong way.

"We have a comfortable lead in the championship so we could afford to take a gamble. The tyre choice maybe wasn't the correct one, but we did get caught behind Haslam for too long at the start of race one," said Rea.

Race two was a different proposition and, although Sykes led in the early laps, Rea and Ducati-mounted Italian Davide Giugliano forced their way past the Yorkshireman on lap seven.

Then with six laps to go Rea hit the front on his ZX10R Kawasaki leaving Giugliano with no answer to the series leader, who crossed the line with a 1.3sec advantage.

Rea said afterwards: "I believed we needed to keep fighting in race two and I'm dedicating this win to Jamie Hamilton, and we want you to keep fighting at home," said Rea, offering encouragement to the BE Racing rider who has arm, leg and head injuries after his 170mph crash on the Isle of Man.

"We want you to be as strong and possible," added Rea, before wishing his TT winning dad Johnny a happy Father's Day.

Looking ahead he added: "Obviously we have to start to think about the championship now, but I wanted to win at Misano.

"In race two Davide Giugliano was a good marker to understand my pace. Kawasaki has given us a bike to win and they proved that this weekend with Tom winning race one and myself winning race two. I am so grateful to be in this position and to have the opportunity to fight for wins."

Leon Haslam came out best in an all British battle for the final podium spot on his Red Devil's Aprilia, with Davies fourth for Ducati and Sykes fading to fifth on the second Kawasaki.

Max Biaggi finished sixth in both races. The six time world champion was making a one-off appearance for Aprilia and proved at 44 he still has the talent despite not having raced competitively in three years.

Frenchman Jules Cluzel put his MV Agusta on the top step of the podium in the World Supersport class, with American PJ Jacobsen (Honda) and Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta) second and third.

The Frenchman's victory helped him close the gap on series leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) to 20 points, after the Turkish rider crashed out of third place, but remounted to finish 11th.

Belfast Telegraph


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