Rea Completes Imola Double as Kawasaki Dominate


Jonathan Rea’s relentless domination of the 2015 World Superbike Championship shows no sign of stopping after another victory in race two at Imola. The Ulsterman proved too strong once again for teammate Tom Sykes with the Kawasaki teammates over 20 seconds clear of third-placed Jordi Torres in a stunning display of the ZX-10R’s strength.

Unlike in race one, Davide Giugliano couldn’t retain his lead from pole position and was swallowed up by the two Kawasakis on the run towards Tamburello. In another difference from the earlier race, the two Aruba.it Ducatis were powerless to stop their rivals in green escaping as Chaz Davies made an error at Variante Alta attempting to pass his teammate. The Welshman eventually made the move stick but by the time he had done so, Rea and Sykes were long gone.

Out in front, the two British teammates traded fastest laps but the longer the race went on, Rea seemed to strangle the life out of his opponent with Sykes eventually fading to a distant second, 4.399s adrift. Ducati’s afternoon took a major turn for the worse though on lap fifteen as Davies’ Panigale stopped in a cloud of smoke. With a fatigued Giugliano losing time in the closing stages, the final podium spot would instead go to the Aprilia of Torres with the Spaniard standing on a WSBK rostrum for the first time.

There were contrasting fortunes in the Aprilia camp as Leon Haslam crashed out, moments after sideswiping the PATA Honda of Michael van der Mark, and  through all the mayhem came Ayrton Badovini to finish fifth, narrowly beating compatriot Matteo Baiocco. Roman Ramos was seventh ahead of Leandro Mercado and Michel Fabrizio while Alex Lowes salvaged a top ten result for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki after another character-building weekend.