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I've been hugging the toilet seat: Jonathan Rea beats food poisoning to seal record perfect 10 wins in a row

 

By Roy Harris

There is just no stopping four-time World Champion Jonathan Rea.

The Templepatrick rider's latest exploits came in South America last night during the penultimate round of the World Superbike Championship in Argentina where he became the first man to win 10 WSB races in a row and take his 55th victory for Kawasaki, matching Carl Fogarty's 55 wins for Ducati - simply stunning.

And this all came despite feeling unwell with food poisoning after his opening win on Saturday.

Historic four-time champion Jonathan won Saturday's race by over nine seconds having taken the lead from Marco Melandri through the second corner and going on to win with ease.

Yesterday was much harder, starting from eighth on the grid after Loris Baz was demoted for irresponsible riding in the morning warm-up.

Prior to the race Rea said: "I've been hugging the toilet seat all night and I'm weak, but I'll give it my best shot."

Certainly, during the first few laps, things were tough for Rea, making mistakes, gaining places, losing places and taking until lap four to get into second place and give chase to race leader Xavi Fores.

Already coun tryman Eugene Laverty was out having crashed on lap three from his front row start, but Rea was now charging and caught and passed Fores on lap seven only for the Ducati rider to fight back and retake the lead.

Rea was in front again on lap eight and the race was basically over as he gradually pulled away from the field to win by over three seconds doing stand up wheelies in the last part of the final lap.

Jonathan said: "I didn't think I could win this. The last five laps I was drained. I had a few moments on the first few laps, but knew if I could get clear track I could catch Xavi. This is awesome and as I said weeks ago, I'm living the dream."

Following the weekend's final British Superbike Championship meeting at Brands Hatch, meanwhile, three titles came back across the Irish Sea.

Dubliner Jack Kennedy clinched his first British Supersport crown, Clogher Tyco BMW rider Keith Farmer took the Superstock 1000cc championship (his fourth British title) despite falling off in the final race and 20-year old Eunan McGlinchey, from Aghadowey, scooped the British Junior Supersport title riding the Team 109 Kawasaki.

Carrick's Glenn Irwin sealed third place in the Superbike championship after winning his first race of the season for PBM Be Wiser Ducati on Saturday, a race in which brother Andrew finished fourth.

Yesterday, in extremely wet conditions, things didn't go so well for the Irwins in their final rides for Paul Bird's team with Glenn seventh in race two and suffering a non-finish in the final race while Andrew was a faller in both.

Michael Laverty was 10th for Tyco BMW in race one but, like Andrew Irwin, crashed out of both races yesterday. The 37-year-old also announced that he was leaving the BSB paddock to seek a ride in the 2019 World Endurance championship.

Josh Elliott crashed the OMG Suzuki in the final race of the year after taking 15th in Saturday's race and 10th in yesterday's opener.

Jack Kennedy beat Alastair Seeley by 0.090 seconds in a nail biting Supersport sprint race to clinch the championship on Saturday after his main rival, Ben Currie, jumped the start and was handed a ride-through penalty and then in diabolical wet, slippery conditions yesterday, James Westmoreland headed Kennedy home by 2.8 seconds, while early race leader Seeley crashed out of contention on the 13th of 18 laps.

The Superstock 1000cc title race was between Farmer and Billy McConnell and it was shaping up to be a thriller before McConnell crashed on lap six and the title was on its way to Clogher. Unfortunately, Farmer also crashed out of the lead two laps later, safe in the knowledge the title was his.

McGlinchey rode a calculated race in Saturday's Junior Supersport opener to finish in third position, enough to secure him his maiden British championship at his first attempt, the Aghadowey rider celebrating in style yesterday, romping to a five second victory over his rivals.

Dean Harrison, the lap record holder for both the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix Superbike, has confirmed he will be taking part in the Sunflower Trophy race meeting next weekend at Bishopcourt.

The 29-year-old from Bradford will be making his debut at the race, which is the final short circuit meeting of the season.

He will make his appearance on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki and will compete in the Superbike class.

Harrison will be looking to add to what has already been a major year, having taken victory in the second Supersport race at the Isle of Man TT.

He also won the Classic TT in August for a second year.

Belfast Telegraph

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