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Rea strikes back | Sport | WSBK

SUPERPOLE
Rea Romps To Misano Superpole Win

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) made the best of the last minute scramble for grid positions at Misano, setting a lap time 0.355 seconds faster than the second place rider, Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) taking his third pole of 2019, and the 19th of his career.

With some more power available this weekend, due to a new exhaust and engine mods, Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) scored third place, 0.380 seconds from Rea.
After overnight and light morning rain, Superpole got underway on a semi-dry track, with times around a second slower than 2018. Several top riders had their original best times deleted for exceeding the track limits, especially at Turn 1.

Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) continued to come back well after his Jerez disasters, qualifying fourth in Superpole, to start race one from the second row of the grid.
Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) qualified fifth, leaving him on a tricky second row starting position. Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) improved from tenth on day one to finish sixth in Superpole.

Local riders Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati) and wildcard man Michele Pirro (Barni Racing Ducati) were the final two riders to get within a second of Rea, in seventh and eighth place respectively. Chaz Davies was ninth on his Aruba.it Racing Ducati.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) completed the top ten, on a starting grid that was without the injured Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) who suffered wrist hand and rib injuries in his big Friday highside.

RACE 1
Rea The Rain Dancer

Three attempted starts were needed to get what was an 18-lap WorldSBK race one underway at Misano, a race that was won by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) after a fight with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team). In wet conditions that fight ended when Lowes crashed at Turn 11 while leading.
With thunder and lighting arriving at just the wrong time, the rain caught out several riders.

Lowes took the lead on lap eight and then moved forward confidently, until his fateful slide off while leading.
With Rea, the winner out front, Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) took a superb second place, for the new BMW’s first podium finish.

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was down in sixth at one stage, and sliding down the order, but as other riders found trouble he held off a late challenge from Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) to take a damage-limiting third.

Baz was fourth, after a battle with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who crossed the line in fifth.
Over 40 seconds back, Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) was sixth and after a big crash in the final lap as the rains started more heavily again, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) crashed out and lost his top ten finish.

Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha), Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki-Althea Honda Racing Team), Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Go Eleven Ducati) and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) completed the top ten.

Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) moved into fifth on lap four of the 18 lap race, before crashing out of the race on lap 13.

SUPERPOLE RACE WORLDSBK
Bautista Dominates Bizarre Sprint Race

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took another lunge onto the top step of the podium after a crash-strewn ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race at Misano, winning by over seven seconds after early leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) fell while chasing Bautista’s shadow.

A turnaround of fortunes for Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) saw him second as other riders’ crashed out. Lowes overtook a determined – but ultimately non-finishing – Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) on his way to second in dry conditions.

Another rider on the podium upswing was Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) scoring third place. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was fourth, right on Haslam’s tail.

Rea got going again after his fall to finish fifth, just ahead of local men Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati).

Michele Pirro (Barni Racing Ducati) secured eighth place, with Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Go Eleven Ducati) completing the top ten.
Potential first-time podium rider Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) also crashed out from a strong position in a race where every rider bar one used the ‘X’ rear tyre, designed for either Superpole or a short race.

Final RACE WORLDSBK
Rea Wins Again As Bautista Falls

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) had another race in the bag until he had his second front-end crash while leading in successive WorldSBK weekends.

His fall allowed an eventual man-to-man fight for the win between Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and the ever-improving Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing). Rea won after a brilliant battle with the privateer Ducati rider while Bautista remounted to finish 14th and score two points.

The final podium fight between Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) and his old mate Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) went to Haslam after another potential podium challenge from Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) ended in a crash. The number 33 rider managed to remount and finish 16th.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati) and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) hung onto the fight for the final podium place, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Rinaldi was the top Ducati rider in Race Two.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was seventh, Michele Pirro (Barni Racing Ducati) eighth, Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Go Eleven Ducati) ninth and Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) tenth.

Words Gordon Ritchie
Pics GnG

Bautista, WorldSBK sprint race, Misano WorldSBK 2019