After an astounding wet race win in Saturday Jonathan Rea scored two more in dry conditions today to extend his championship lead to 24 points, with just one round to go before the summer break begins.
In the Tissot Superpole race today, held in the morning, Rea followed pole man Tom Sykes until he passed him going into the chicane at half race distance. Jonathan pulled a small gap at that point, which was to give him the race win after a red flag was shown. Another rider’s engine blew oil onto the track in the braking area at the Melbourne Loop, causing five following riders to crash in quick succession.
As Rea and the leading pack came round at a slow pace under the red flag to enter the pits, Sykes found the oil and fell. As he was unable to get back to pitlane on his bike inside the time allowed, he was removed from the classification, which put Rea, Razgatlioglu and Haslam all onto the podium together for a Kawasaki lockout.
In Race Two, which was also held in dry and sunny conditions, Rea, Razgatlioglu and Haslam were the leading trio until Haslam was passed by eventual third place rider Alvaro Bautista. Razgatlioglu had led for seven of the first 11 laps but it was Rea who would manage to control strong pressure from the young Turkish rider to win race two
His winning margin was 0.365 seconds. Haslam would finish fifth in race two, after losing a place to Alex Lowes on lap 21.
Rea also set a new lap record of 1’27.166 on his way to the win in the Superpole race this morning.
Rea now has 376 points to Bautista’s 352. Haslam is fifth overall with 187 points.
The next round will be held next weekend at Laguna Seca in the USA, between 12 and 14 July.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “This morning in the sprint race with Tom Sykes, who is one of the best riders at this circuit, I was able to analyse where he was strong and make my move. Unfortunately the race was red flagged before the end. But to win the second race this afternoon was really special - the best of the weekend. Another nice fight with Toprak, who was really strong in some areas of the track and I was able to be strong in others. A positive weekend and I am looking forward now to the next few races, because I feel like there are some good tracks coming for us now. I seriously did not expect these kind of results this weekend.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “Honestly, I had a really good feeling on 80% of the track but I was just struggling on that last part with the stop/start areas. I am happy with the pace because I was losing so much in the last two turns but and making it back in the rest of the track – and that was against the fastest guys. I did feel that if we could have sorted those last two corners out we would have been in that battle for those top two spots today. We have had a run of podiums and a fifth place finish recently so we are there or thereabouts. We closed the points gap on third and we will keep on pushing on.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) is sixth overall now, with 153 points, and is the top independent rider. He is 29 points ahead of his next nearest rival, Marco Melandri. Razgatlioglu set the fastest lap of the second race, as he led on lap three.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, stated: “I wanted to win and I tried but Johnny was very strong today. I followed him and on the last three laps I tried again to pass but it was not possible. I am happy with another podium after the Superpole race second place. I like the braking sections and it was incredible in that area but in acceleration I am always sliding. In the final three laps I tried a different line but it did not change the result as I was still sliding but I took a second podium. Maybe next season, maybe next year – maybe next race – I will win? I do not know!”
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) finished a strong ninth in the sprint and scored a point, but a technical issue put him out of the final race on lap one. Jordi is 12th overall after eight of 13 rounds.
Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) having scored an excellent sixth in a wet race one on Saturday was a faller on the oil spill that ended the Superpole race but recovered to finish 14th in Race Two. He is 15th in the rankings now.
2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
2019: Races 22, Wins 7, Podiums 19, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 78 (63 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 153 (111 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 19 (15 for Kawasaki)
2019: Races: 22, Wins 0, Podiums 6, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 45 (7 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki)
6 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
4 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)
4 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 134 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 410 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 84 – second overall