Rea breaks record but crashes out in race two
Jonathan Rea celebrated taking a record 60th World Superbike victory in race one of the seventh round at Brno in the Czech Republic on Saturday.
However, in race two yesterday it all went pear-shaped for the Ballyclare rider with his first non-finish of the year.
Starting from ninth position on the grid things didn’t go to plan when he and Kawasaki Racing team-mate Tom Sykes collided going for the same piece of tarmac on lap three and Rea crashed out. Race Control investigated and reported it as a ‘racing incident’.
Sykes stayed on board but three laps later, dicing with Eugene Laverty and Michael Reuben Rinaldi for fourth, the Kawasaki’s rear wheel lost grip and he slid on to the tarmac.
“It was a great weekend for so many reasons, but unfortunately today we didn’t get to finish it in the way we wanted,” Rea said.
“We have to understand we extended our lead in the championship (65 points from Chas Davies) and that is the positive I can hang on to. I felt comfortable with the race two pace with no urgency to get to the front, but what happened put paid to my race. A very short race!”
On Saturday race one took three starts, the first stopped when a safety air fence required repair, then on start two the starting lights malfunctioned.
Eventually the race, reduced to 16 laps, got under way and Rea out-braked Sykes at turn three on lap one, put in two fast laps and left the field trailing in his wake over five seconds clear of Marco Melandri (Ducati) to ease to his 60th race victory at this level, one more than Carl Fogarty who had held the record of 59 since 1999.
Sykes, Michael Van Der Mark, Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty completed the top six.
“It’s incredible, when I came across the finish line I started to realise I had done the 60 wins and beat Carl’s record — sorry Carl,” said Rea.
I can’t really believe it to be honest. Each and every race win is special in its own individual way and the motivation is to keep going and win one or two more. It’s nice to win here, where I won my first World Supersport race in 2008. I actually called my dog Brno as well after that. To be the most winningest rider now is something I’m really proud of.”
Yesterday, chasing the two Yamaha’s of Lowes and Van Der Mark and Laverty on the Milwaukee Aprilia, Rea and Sykes battled to make up ground from eighth and ninth on the grid.
Lap three saw them collide, Rea ending up in the gravel trap and clearly annoyed. Lowes and Van Der Mark made it a Pata Yamaha 1-2, Lowes taking his first ever World SBK race win.
Davies finished back in third with Laverty having his best ride of the season holding off Savadori and Rinaldi to finish a brilliant fourth.
Andrew Irwin was disappointed to finish outside the points in the World Supersport race after his front tyre went off.
“It was frustrating. I had a crash in morning warm-up and in the race, I was running 13/14th when the tyre went off quicker than we thought,” said the Carrickfergus rider.
“The crash was down to a worn tyre and I didn’t want to crash again, dropping back to 17th at the finish.”
1 Jonathan Rea 270; 2 Chaz Davies 205 3 Michael van der Mark 196; 4 Tom Sykes 179; 5 Marco Melandri 157; 6 Alex Lowes 154; 7 Xavi Fores 134; 8 Toprak Razgatlioglu 91; 9 Lorenzo Savadori 73; 10 Leon Camier72; 11 Loris Baz 72; 12 Jordi Torres 64; 13 Eugene Laverty 60; 14 Michael Ruben Rinaldi 54 ;15 Leandro Mercado 42; 16 Roman Ramos 41 ;17 Jake Gagne 24; 18 PJ Jacobsen 21; 19 Yonny Hernandez 18; 20 Leon Haslam 14