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Revved-up Rea is bang on track for 60th World Superbike win

 

By Roy Harris

Triple world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) heads the leaderboard after the three opening practice sessions as he bids for a record 60th triumph in the seventh round of the World Superbike Championship at Brno in the Czech Republic.

Ulsterman Rea took advantage of a dry track in session two, after a wet beginning to the day, to squeeze in the first lap under two minutes, two-tenths faster than teammate Tom Sykes.

In the final session of the day Rea went even quicker with a 1m 59.403sec lap to go into today's qualifying and opening race in a confident mood over a quarter of a second clear of Sykes with the Ducati of Marco Melandri a further tenth of a second back in third.

A red flag when Michael Rinaldi's Ducati engine blew with just nine minutes remaining on the clock saw a hectic last few minutes on the restart with Rea holding off challenges from Sykes, Melandri and Lorenzo Savadori.

Rea takes a 64-point lead over Chas Davies, sixth fastest yesterday, into what will be the halfway race of the championship today, as he aims for that record-breaking 60th WSB race win.

As for Rea's fellow Ulstermen, the Milwaukee Aprilia of Eugene Laverty was 11th fastest after yesterday's three sessions and Andrew Irwin was 22nd fastest in World Supersport practice on his first visit to the Brno Circuit after a top 10 finish during the last round at Donington Park.

But it's all eyes on that man Rea today as he steps up his World title defence.

Belfast Telegraph

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