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Why it was still a positive weekend, explains Jonathan Rea despite flying Dutchman denial at Donington



Lean machine: Jonathan Rea (1) on his way to third place finish at Donington yesterday

Lean machine: Jonathan Rea (1) on his way to third place finish at Donington yesterday

Lean machine: Jonathan Rea (1) on his way to third place finish at Donington yesterday

Jonathan Rea will have to wait to set a new record of World Superbike wins after he was eclipsed by Dutchman Michael van der Mark for the second time in two days at Donington Park.

Championship leader Rea, who needs one more win to surpass the record he holds with Carl Fogarty of 59 career victories, finished third in race two after being passed by Turkey’s Toprak Razatlioglu on the final lap. His next opportunity will be at the Czech round at Brno in two weeks time.

Victory gave Van der Mark an unlikely double after the Yamaha rider took his first race win in race one on Saturday, with the Northern Ireland rider in second.

Rea said afterwards: “It was really difficult to make my way to the front in race two, as it was really aggressive from all riders and I used a lot of tyre and energy getting through. I also ran into some arm pump under braking. The boys gave me a great bike that was ready to win, but I wasn’t. When Toprak came by on the last lap I had no response. The target was to leave Donington with more than 50 points advantage in the championship and we exceeded that, so for me it was a positive weekend.”

Rea overhauled Yamaha’s Alex Lowes to take the lead on lap 17 but Van der Mark followed him through the gap and the Dutchman soon moved ahead of Rea and started to pull away.

Van der Marksaid: “Yesterday was like a dream and I was scared to think about the double, but at the end we did it.

“I tried to stay calm and I tried to follow Alex and I was just closing on him step by step. It’s incredible to take that first victory, but to reward the guys with a double, I can’t believe it.”

Van der Mark became the first non-British winner at Donington since 2012 when he took his maiden Superbike victory in Saturday’s first race leaving the Kawasakis disputing second position, Rea eventually taking the runner-up spot a second behind the Dutchman and a similar margin ahead of new record pole man Tom Sykes.

The Milwaukee Aprilias of Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty finished a satisfying fifth and sixth respectively behind the second Pata Yamaha of Alex Lowes in fourth.

After overnight changes to the Kawasaki, Rea, starting from the middle of the third row, was embroiled in a chaotic opening two laps as he attempted to make up ground.

At the front Savadori led from Lowes and Leon Haslam as Laverty, starting from the front row, slipped further and further down the field as his machine tried to throw him off at every corner, eventually retiring after dropping down to 12th.

Lowes hit the front on lap two with Haslam crashing out of second position with Rea now out of the pack and setting the fastest lap on lap five to reel in Savadori and Van der Mark in second and third.

Halfway into the 23-lap race light rain fell, but quickly past over as Rea nipped inside Van der Mark into second.

Rea moved into the lead on lap 16 and, by Redgate, Lowes had lost second to his Pata team mate who moved inside Rea at Melbourne Loop.

All eyes were on a spirited ride from Toprak Razgatlioglu, who was closing on the leading trio and once past Lowes set his sights on Rea and Van der Mark with late race speed.

Rea had no answer to the Dutchman and on the last lap he lost second to the 21-year old Turkish rider, the first rider from Turkey to stand on a WSB podium.

Carrick’s Andrew Irwin had his best Supersport ride of the season to date finishing 10th and top British rider in the 20-lap race saying: “This weekend has been good and I feel we are moving in the right direction and improving all the time. I’m happy to have achieved my first top 10 finish, which isn’t easy in this highly competitive class and now look forward to the next round in Brno.”

In the British Superstock 600cc race, 18-year old Aaron Clifford from Tara, Co. Meath won by a third of a second and Caolan Irwin from Donegal finished in sixth while in the two races for the British Talent Cup at Donington it was a disappointing weekend for Carrick’s Scott Swann, who crashed out of both races.

Race 2: 1 Michael van der Mark (Ned) Yamaha 34mins 02.406secs, 2 Topak Razgatlioglu (Tur) Kawasaki 34:04.734, 3 Jonathan Rea (Gbr) Kawasaki 34:05.020, 4 Alex Lowes (Gbr) Yamaha 34:05.300, 5 Chaz Davies (Gbr) Ducati 34:07.203, 6 Tom Sykes (Gbr) Kawasaki 34:10.630, 7 Lorenzo Savadori (Ita) Aprilia 34:11.575, 8 Leon Camier (Gbr) Honda 34:20.894, 9 Jordi Torres (Spa) MV Augusta 34:22.370, 10 Loris Baz (Fra) BMW 34:22.613

Leading World Championship Standings:

Riders: 1 Jonathan Rea (Gbr) Kawasaki 245pts, 2 Chaz Davies (Gbr) Ducati 181, 3 Tom Sykes (Gbr) Kawasaki 163, 3 Michael van der Mark (Ned) Yamaha 163, 5 Marco Melandri (Ita) Ducati 136, 6 Javier Fores (Spa) Ducati 124, 7 Alex Lowes (Gbr) Yamaha 118, 8 Topak Razgatlioglu (Tur) Kawasaki 78, 9 Loris Baz (Fra) BMW 67, 10 Jordi Torres (Spa) MV Augusta 64

Manufacturers: 1 Kawasaki 263pts, 2 Ducati 224, 3 Yamaha 182, 4 Aprilia 76, 5 Honda 71, 6 BMW 67, 7 MV Augusta 64, 8 Suzuki 3

Belfast Telegraph