It;s Sunday afternoon and the weather was warming up nicely for what could prove to be the most exciting race of the year. Rea started ninth with the reverse grid and Stefan Bradl was on the front row for the first time in his World Superbike career.
The build up to the race was marred by an incident in qualifying yesterday between Rea and Chaz Davies which lead to a three place grid penalty for Rea for race one.
This didn’t make any difference to yesterdays race result as Rea still won… again. Davies broke down on the final lap with an electrical problem and Dutch hero Michael van der Mark was taken out on lap one by team mate Alex Lowes.
Race two got underway with Eugene Laverty leading, but Rea was already breathing down his neck having gone from ninth to third in lap one. It is already looking ominous for another Rea race win, what would be his seventh in eight races, and any hopes of an exciting race are disappearing quicker than it takes to make toast.
At least while Rea was dominating and nothing interesting is happening I have enough time to check the football, and damn it Rochdale are losing, and their slim hopes of making the playoffs are all but gone.
With 14 laps to go Jordi Torres was in 15th place, he really struggles on the BMW when it has a full tank of fuel, and once that starts to go down, he does a brilliant job of fighting his way through the field.
Both the Red Bull Hondas are still really struggling, but they are getting better, Nicky made Q2 this time and was having a really good battle for 6th place with Marco Melandri, Xavi Forres and Lorenzo Savadori.
The Yamaha’s of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes were both having a much better race 2 than they did race 1, as they are both still running. Van der Mark was desperately trying to hang on to Chaz Davies for third and Lowes was recovering from a poor start on his way to 5th.
Tom Sykes was trying to get past Rea, and a mistake from Rea allowed him within three tenths of his team mate, but he just couldn’t get past him, even though they cross the line 0.025 seconds apart. It looked like a brilliant finish, but it wasn’t – Rea was just playing with him, like a cat with a mouse. Letting him get within spitting distance before pulling away and finally setting up a grandstand finish.
This one really didn’t live up to the hype, and the most exciting part about the weekend was the spat between Rea and Davies after qualifying where Davies claimed if Rea hadn’t of apologised he would be in hospital now!
So Rea won, from Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies. Van der Mark was 4th, Lowes 5th, Camier 6th, Torres 7th (I said he usually has a really good second half of the race), Laverty 8th Hayden 9th Bradl 10th. With Melandri, Savadori and Russo all crashing out.
And Rochdale drew 1-1.
- Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki Racing Team – 33:48.345s
- Tom Sykes – Kawasaki Racing Team – + 0.025s
- Chaz Davies – Aruba.it Ducati Racing – + 5.077s
- Michael van der Mark – Pata Yamaha Official WSBK – + 8.739s
- Alex Lowes – Pata Yamaha Official WSBK – + 16.244s
- Leon Camier – MV Agusta Reparto Corse – + 17.899s
- Jordi Torres – Althea BMW Racing – + 19.026s
- Eugene Laverty – Milwaukee Aprilia – + 19.184s
- Nicky Hayden – Red Bull Honda WSBK – + 21.475s
- Stefan Bradl – Red Bull Honda WSBK – + 21.475s