Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea took the 75th WSBK win of his career to slash Ducati’s Alvaro championship lead to just 16 points with his second victory of the weekend at Misano.
The reigning champion, looking to recover after slipping off in the Superpole sprint race which Bautista won, was handed a golden opportunity when Bautista low-sided off while leading on the second lap at Turn 4.
With the stricken Spaniard rejoining the race in last place and more than 40-seconds back on the leaders, Rea set about hunting down Kawasaki team-mate Leon Haslam with Puccetti Kawasaki’s Toprak Razgatlioglu also in the front group.
After the Turkish rider charged into the lead at the start of Lap 5, Rea pushed Haslam into third place as he began his dash to the front and 25 valuable championship points.
Rea caught and stalked Razgatlioglu as the pair burst clear of Haslam and the chasing pack, with the four-time world champion making his move into the lead for the first time with three laps to go diving up the inside at Turn 1.
But Razgatlioglu demonstrated why he his so highly coveted in the paddock, sticking to the rear wheel of Rea over the closing laps before diving deep up the inside at Turn 4 to reclaim the lead on the final lap.
However, the Turkish rider drifted wide and Rea was able to dive back into the lead to take a vital victory and the 75th win of his WSBK career.
Rea said: “Winning two races at Misano was good for us, especially the two important races. Unfortunately in the Superpole Race today I made a big mistake in turn ten, when I lost the front. But I restarted to finish fifth which was all important for the weekend.
“Race Two today was a tough one because the temperature was hot. I was very unsure of the pace. I felt like it was slow but I did not want to push any faster. I saw Alvaro go down very early in the race and the conditions out there were very tough, especially for the front tyre. The rear was just not digging in and going forward, it was just spinning so much – but we won, which was the main thing. It was a super-nice day for Kawasaki because we put three bikes on the Race Two podium. Team Suzuka! Donington next and we will go to every track with an open mentality.”
With Razgatlioglu and Haslam completing an all-Kawasaki podium, Yamaha’s Alex Lowes secured fourth place for Pata Yamaha with Michael Ruben Rinaldi finishing top Ducati in fifth.
Tom Sykes finished sixth on the BMW, ahead of Chaz Davies on the Ducati in seventh, wildcard Michele Pirro in eight with Lorenzo Zanetti on the Team Goeleven Ducati who is standing in for the injured Eugene Laverty finishing ninth. Jordi Torres rounded out the top 10 for Pedercini Kawasaki.