What a weekend for the 32-year- old Ballyclare man!
Jonathan Rea went into last weekend’s Donington Park races sixteen points behind Spaniard Alvaro Bautista so he made some ground to make up in the Superbike Championship. He managed to go twenty two points ahead to top the leader board after completing a hatrick!
In the first race on Saturday, Rea took advantage of the wet conditions powering and splashing his way around the Donington track. His adversary Bautista crashed out in Lap 10 so this win made it all the sweeter for Rea. He finished ahead of Tom Sykes and his Kawasaki team mate Leon Haslam.
The second race of the day the 10 lap Superpole was red flagged on lap eight because Peter Hickman’s BMW was leaking oil on the circuit which saw six riders sliding off the track. Rea was in front of Sykes and Razgatliouglu at the time but more drama ensued during the slow down lap when Sykes bike slipped on the oil spill and went crashing to the ground. He made his way back on foot to the pits thinking he has secured second place only to be disqualified because he didn’t return on his bike. This meant Razgatliouglu was promoted to second place behind Rea and Kawasaki team mate Leon Haslam secured third place.
In the third race it was a Rea / Razgatliouglu battle again. Rea led the race for the first three laps before the Turkish rider took over for a spell with Rea taking the leads once more. It was a tit for tat race until Lap 12 when Rea went full throttle to secure a hatrick a Donington Park, giving him a twenty four point lead in the World SuperBike Championship and paving the way for his 5th World Superbike title.
Rea spoke honestly to Eurosport afterwards saying “I would have laughed if you had said to me before the weekend that I’d win three races here,”
“I’ve had problems here before but I felt in good shape and I need to say a big thanks to my team because I had a great bike.
“I’m going to celebrate this victory when I get home tonight because you have to take stock of days like today.”
It just goes to show what great resilience, composure and a good bike can do!
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