The World Superbike race this past weekend at Imola’s Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit was ideal for Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea. After winning his first pole position in three years on Saturday, the Irishman went on to capture both Superbike race wins on Sunday and moved into the championship points lead. This stunning performance in Italy marked Rea’s third straight win of the season.
“It’s been a great weekend,” said Rea in a story posted on Cycle News. “I knew after race one that we had really good pace… I just want to thank all my crew for their tireless work. For sure I had to finish it off, but they gave me a great bike to do my thing. We’re moving on to Donington, a home ride for me. It’s a circuit I really enjoy, so hopefully we can go there and continue the ball rolling.”
In the first race, Rea got an awesome launch and led all of the race’s 19 laps to victory. Following him home was Ducati factory rider Chaz Davies, who shadowed Rea for most of the race. Rounding out the podium was defending World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes. The Kawasaki rider got a top-five start and worked his way up to Davies, netting the final podium spot with just a few laps to go.
The day’s second race turned out to be very similar to the first for Rea. The Pata Honda rider again got an excellent start and went on to lead all 19 laps to the checkers. As for Davies, the results of the first and second races were identical but the getting there… not so much. Davies had to muster a bit more effort in race two, but the Ducati rider was up to the task. He got off the line in sixth and then worked his way through the field and then to second with fewer than five laps to go. These two podium finishes are Davies’ first of the season.
“I’m ecstatic, it was a great day,” Davies said. “I had to work a bit harder for that one… I felt a little bit more on the limit than in the first race. In certain areas we improved the bike, but in other areas I felt like we made it a little bit worse. Anyway I’ve got to be really, really happy, just down the road from where the bike was built. To deliver a double podium for Ducati I’m just ecstatic with that.”
Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli rounded out the podium in the second race, after getting a good start and running in the runner-up spot for most of the event. But in the remaining laps, Davies beat him out of second and Guintoli had to settle for third. Kawasaki’s Sykes, meanwhile got a decent start in the second race and ran in a podium position for multiple laps mid-race before finishing fifth. After the weekend, Rea leads the championship points over second-place Sykes and Guintoli in third.Tags: Aprilia, Autodromo Enzo E Dino Ferrari Circuit, Chaz Davies, Ducati, Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki, Motorsports, Pata Honda, Sylvain Guintoli, Tom Sykes, World Superbike