WSBK: Podium brace for title favourite Rea at Misano
Jonathan Rea's brace of rostrum finishes at Misano in Italy has given the defending World Superbike champion a cushion of 50 points over his Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes.
Rea finished third in the opening race on Saturday despite colliding with Ducati’s Chaz Davies on the final lap as they battled for the lead.
Welshman Davies tucked the front of his Panigale R with three corners remaining and Rea was unable to avoid running over the 30-year-old, who was ruled out of race two after sustaining a fractured vertebrae in the incident.
Sykes swept through to snatch an unlikely victory from Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha), with Rea salvaging third place after remounting on his ZX-10RR.
The Ulster rider improved one place to finish as the runner-up in Sunday’s second race behind Marco Melandri on the Aruba.it Ducati, with Sykes slotting into third. Spain’s Jordi Torres had been holding second place on the Althea BMW but was a late retirement.
Rea said: “I am really satisfied with the results today but unfortunately we could not challenge for the win because I felt we were struggling a little bit, as the rear tyre was completely out of balance.
“I was having a lot of rear vibration and chatter. That was really difficult to manage. I focused on trying to pass Tom for many laps and when I went through I tried to hunt down Torres in second place but, unfortunately for him, he had a problem and could not finish.
“In the championship standings we are in a good position right now. I also wish Chaz Davies a speedy recovery from injury.”
Michael van der Mark, who crashed while leading race one, finished fourth on the Pata Yamaha ahead of Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), who was sixth in Saturday’s opening race.
Laguna Seca in the USA hosts the next round from July 7-9.