Three–time world championship Jonathan Rea had to use all his skills and determination to secure the second race win of the Misano WorldSBK weekend, and with it his third double win of the season.
Having to pass several riders, some of them after more than one attempt, Rea seized a late opportunity to take the lead from long time front-runner Michael van der Mark, Jonathan eventually won by a narrow 0.334 seconds from van der Mark, with the third placed rider Marco Melandri just 0.595 seconds from Jonathan.
Rea set the fastest lap of the race, a 1’34.944, on lap ten, after breaking free of one of the riders who started ahead of him in the race.
Sykes had been in second place from laps three to four but gradually dropped back to take fifth place and with it defend his fourth place in the championship standings.
In winning race two today, Kawasaki now has a total of 120 race wins in WorldSBK since its inception in 1988, making the Akashi manufacturer the second most successful of all time in its own right. Kawasaki leads the 2018 Manufacturers’ Standings by 59 points.
Entering the long summer break Rea has a points total of 370, Chaz Davies has 278, van der Mark 248 and Sykes 218.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 12th in race two, despite his recent foot injury. He is ninth overall. Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) placed 15th, for one more championship point. Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) finished 16th and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 17th, despite suffering a crash.
With a long summer break looming, but an official test session at Portimao beforehand, the next round of the championship itself will take place at the same Portuguese venue, between the 14th and 16th of September.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “That was a super-super hard race. Yesterday I controlled the race. I could lead from the front, make my rhythm and go away. Today I could not make that in the beginning and I spent so much tyre and energy coming through the traffic. The bikes are so evenly matched now it is so hard to make a pass and make it stick. It was a hard job to track down Mikey and when I arrived I was starting to panic a little bit with five laps to go. I wanted to be in the lead by that stage and make a gap. I was worried about getting through because he was not making mistakes, but then he ran into the last corner a little bit deep, and I was able to pull alongside and outbrake him in T1. I made a lot of passes in that race and it was really hard work.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “Today was a big step in performance and we had a much better feeling with the chassis. With that we made a big step forward and it is a shame that we did not use this front fork at the beginning of the weekend. I just could not get the bike to do what I needed in some areas and I gave up a little bit of performance. In a lot of areas the bike was working really well. We just lost the edge grip, which is strange because the lap time was really consistent all race. I lost a lot of time at the beginning when I tried to push on new tyres I just could not do it. The bike performance compared to yesterday was much, much better.”
2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 18, Wins 10, Podiums 15, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 64 (49 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 127 (85 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 18, Wins 1, Podiums 6, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 106 (105 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 46 (46 for Kawasaki)
5 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016 & 2017), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
3 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017)
3 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 120 – now second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 370 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 79 – second overall