Jonathan Rea - Photo Credit: Honda World Superbike Team

Jonathan Rea - Photo Credit: Honda World Superbike Team


Jonathan Rea claimed a dramatic victory in the second race of the day at Donington Park despite starting the final lap in fourth place. The five way fight for the lead went all the way down to the last corner when a clash between Rea and Leon Haslam decided it in the Ulsterman's favour.

There was also drama at the very first corner when Jakub Smrz ran into the back of Eugene Laverty's Aprilia. Laverty continued but Smrz slid into Carlos Checa, knocking them both out of the race while Davide Giugliano was forced to take to the grass in avoidance. Ahead of the chaos, Max Biaggi dived past Tom Sykes for the lead but the Kawasaki rider was back in front by the time they left the Old Hairpin.

The front two were joined out in front by the BMWs of Haslam and Marco Melandri with Rea also in touch but Sykes wouldn't be overhauled until lap 19 of 23. It wasn't Biaggi who overhauled him, but Haslam who muscled his way through at Goddards, bringing Melandri through with him. Although Melandri briefly led his teammate after passing at Redgate, Haslam had the edge at the start of the final lap when the drama really began.

Melandri, having had to fend off Biaggi earlier in the lap, dived up the inside of Haslam at the Melbourne Loop but left his braking far too late, allowing the Briton to sneak back through on the exit. Metres behind, Rea capitalised on the mayhem and sneaked past Biaggi for third. Just the Goddards hairpin remained and Melandri tried again but just like his earlier attempt, he overshot the apex. The optimistic move dragged Haslam wide and Rea took an opportunistic dive up the inside. Haslam tried to close the door but only succeeded in making contact with the Honda, unseating him and sending him into the helpless Melandri.

Rea stayed upright and took his second win of the season ahead of Biaggi who emerged from the frantic final lap in second place with Sykes taking the final podium position. Leon Camier finished an excellent fourth for Crescent Fixi Suzuki ahead of Sylvain Guintoli and Ayrton Badovini while Chaz Davies claimed his best result in World Superbikes with seventh.

Rookies Loris Baz and Peter Hickman were eighth and ninth respectively as both impressed on substitute appearances while Hiroshi Aoyama rounded out the top ten. Leon Haslam pushed his BMW over the line in fifteenth to salvage a point but Gary Mason and Eugene Laverty failed to finish, the latter having crashed at the Craner Curves.