Unstoppable Rea in control once again at Imola Superpole

by Robert Jones

Joanthan Rea continued his imperious form as he took his 73rd career win ahead of Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista in the fifth round of the 2019 World Superbike Championship.

Davies started the race from pole, much like he did in race one, and was challenged immediately into turn one by Rea. The Welshman kept the advantage until the Kawasaki rider made a late lunge at turn six, but ran wide giving Davies the cutback on him.

The mistake gave Davies the chance to create a small gap at the front. However, going into the final chicane Davies got his breaking wrong which allowed both Rea and Bautista past.

This was exactly what Ducati did not want. As Rea started to pull away from Bautista, Davies knew he had to get into second as fast as possible to keep the lead within touching distance.

With three laps remaining, Davies was through into second pleace as Bautista started struggling for rear grip. But the gap of just over a second was too much to close down, and Rea made it a perfect two from two.

Image Credit: WorldSBK.com

Pata Yamaha rider Michael Van Der Mark finished a lonely fourth, ahead of team-mate Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam. Yesterday’s third place finisher Toprak Razgatlioglu was once again in the battle for third, but having fitted the softer rear tyre, which was quickly losing grip quickly, he started to lose ground and ultimately finished seventh just ahead of Tom Sykes.

The day started badly for Sykes, as he had to start from the pit lane. But a stunning ride from the 2013 champion saw him cut through the field ahead of this afternoon’s second feature race.

Jordi Torres finished ninth ahead of Markus Reiterberger on the second BMW. But the ride of the day will surely go to Tommy Bridewell who finished in eleventh in place of Eugene Laverty.

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