Johnny Rea

WSBK – Davies urges Rea to ‘cut the crap’ and let the racing do the talking

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The war of words from Assen’s fallout between Johnny Rea and Chaz Davies continues with the Ducati rider telling Rea to ‘cut the crap’.

Davies has issued a lengthy statement, apologising for his tirade against the reigning world champion in Parc Ferme, but also calling for the Kawasaki rider to stop playing games and to focus solely on riding.

Davies said: “Now that the dust has settled on the Assen WSBK weekend I’d like to bring into context the events that unfolded during the Superpole session on Saturday afternoon. I don’t feel like all the facts were obvious at the time so I think it’s necessary to provide the full picture.

“Firstly, I hold my hands up and apologise for my choice of language. I’m sorry it came across on live TV and to whoever it may have offended. While I’m sorry for my choice of language, I’m not sorry for addressing the issue in the way I did. I don’t need to detail that this sport is dangerous and there isn’t much more dangerous than a rider touring on the racing line. Add a touring rider into the path of other riders during the last lap of Superpole and it’s another level of #Sh*tsAboutToGetReal.

“Towards the end of Superpole 2, rider #65 set an incredible marker with his first lap on the new Pirelli qualifying tyres. These tyres aren’t exactly qualifying tyres, they’re called a pre-qualifying tyre and according to Pirelli should be “good for around three fast laps” rather than the typical single flying lap you’d usually see from a true qualifier. #65 rolled off the gas immediately after his first flying lap. That’s pretty normal when you know you’ve got everything out of your package, which, judging by his lap time, he seemingly did.

“I completed my first flying lap. The lap went OK, but I didn’t feel like I perfected it and I assumed it was probably not good enough for the front row of the grid. So, I pushed on for another bite at the cherry with a second lap. I crossed the line at the end of my first flying lap, 19 seconds after #65 completed his lap. 19 seconds is quite a large gap. For example, a full lap of cruising is, on average, about 15 seconds slower than an on-pace lap.

“So, for me to catch up the full 19 seconds in less than half a lap, is quite exceptional. Add to that the fact that #65’s slowest ‘pit in’ lap of the entire weekend was 18 seconds slower than a full on-pace lap (1’54 vs 1’36), yet at the end of Superpole 2 somehow he managed to lose 19 seconds in the opening 40 seconds of a full 96 second lap.

“In Moto3, the percentage determined to be “cruising” is 10%. Applying Moto3 rules, losing just 4 seconds would have been enough for #65 to incur a grid penalty. I wonder what penalty would have been handed down for 19 seconds?

“My second lap was underway and at the second intermediate split I was 0.051 (51 thousandths of a second) outside of my previous lap, a gap that I would definitely call ‘in touch’ to improve my own lap time. I saw #65 as I exited turn 5 onto the back straight, he took a long look over his shoulder through turn 6 and with that I expected him to move well aside on what is a seriously fast part of the circuit.

“As I threw my bike into into turn 7, #65 was mid corner, just wide of the ideal racing line. I’m talking a bikes width but no more, definitely far from off line. In that situation you don’t know what the rider ahead is thinking or which way he’s going as he hasn’t clearly shown which part of the track he’s heading for. He stayed on that line which then on corner exit turns into what is exactly the ideal line, where the natural line is to drift out to 3/4 track width before bringing it back to setup the entry for turn 8.

“I had already backed out of committing to turn 7 at the very last split second on corner entry as I could see what was about to unfold. That foresight and slight lack of commitment at the speed I was carrying gave me the time I needed to be able to pick the bike up on the early part of corner exit and give enough room to avoid what could have been a massive accident. #65 again looked behind, the opposite side to where I was and I felt the need to wake him up to the severity of what just happened. I hit him on the arm as I passed and hurtled some gestures his way.

“Fast forward a couple of minutes into Parc Ferme and once I saw #65 I made the Italian gesture of a pinched together thumb and fingers, translated as “what the hell were you thinking?”.

“I expected a different reaction to what came. #65 went straight on the defensive saying he hadn’t seen me, claiming he was off line anyway, why was I on the outside of him, I shouldn’t have been anywhere near him. It was a good attempt at turning the situation around to put the blame on me.

“There was everything but a simple apology, which, had it have arrived straight away, would had instantly diffused the situation. At that point I tried to put across the severity of the situation, but his arrogance was off the scale. I threw the regrettable profanities at him and finally, after heated exchanges, he begrudgingly offered his hand as an apology.

“As far as I was concerned it was too late and I didn’t feel like it was genuine, so I declined. He was happy to tell the media that is was good to see me frustrated. If you get your kicks from putting other riders’ lives in danger, good for you. My reaction was genuinely not informed by any kind of frustration other than at what I perceived as dirty riding.

“Race Direction took the matter into their own hands (without any intervention from me or my team) and decided that a three-place grid penalty was sufficient. Quite honestly, I’d have preferred to see an immediate admission of fault over the penalty that was handed down.

“After the incident, another rider who was on his ‘in lap’ and saw everything unfold confirmed exactly my thoughts that #65 was looking over his shoulder with intent from early in his in lap.

“At turn 5 it’s very easy to glance across the circuit to all the way through turns 2, 3 and 4 to see which riders are coming. #65 stayed well off the gas, taking another look over his shoulder during turn 6 (seconds before the incident) which unfortunately wasn’t broadcast on the replay, but is shown on the full Superpole 2 session video on the WSBK website (20min 52secs into the full Superpole 2 session video).

“I saw this look behind on track and then again on the full video clip when I was called to Race Direction – it was clear for all of us to see. #65 knew I was coming and endangered both of us with his underhand games.

“Of course, he will deny this, but the facts, video and Race Direction penalty prove otherwise. #65 knew I would abort my lap, but, if I had have committed to turn 7, there’s a strong chance neither of us would have made the grid. I’d expect fairer play from a novice, let alone a double world champion.

“Mistakes do happen. I’ve unintentionally held up others before and have always held my hands up to those kind of mistakes. However, with the facts that were in front of me, I’m absolutely certain there were no coincidences on this occasion. On track it’s usually clear what is or isn’t intentional – I had the same situation last year with my team mate Davide Giugliano in Thailand. However, then I recognised it as an honest mistake and he was quick to admit fault. A number of riders messaged me on Saturday to say they have, at various points in the past, had the same issues – if #65 sees you as a threat he’s willing to play those cards.

“So, I have this message for #65 – you’re a good enough rider without these games, so cut the crap and lets continue to put on the show that is entertaining fans of WSBK, mano a mano. I enjoy the battles, the intense rivalry and hugely respect your ability/achievements, but I strongly believe on this occasion you just took it way too far. Let’s get back to old fashioned hard and fair racing at Imola.”

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WSBK – Rea wins photo finish Race Two at Assen

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Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea celebrated his 200th series start in style after crossing the line by the narrowest of margins at Assen – just 0.025 seconds separated the Ulsterman and team-mate Tom Sykes as the reigning champions secured another double Dutch success.

Rea made a strong start, cutting through the field from ninth on the grid and taking the lead early on. However, the strong winds caused him to run wide, brining him back into the clutches of his team-mate Sykes.

Sykes continued to push hard, shadowing Rea, though never looking capable of passing him. However, he got superb drive through the final chicane, catching Rea and almost passing him on the drag to the line.

The win was Rea’s 11th at Assen since he started his WSBK career and his third double at this 4.542km circuit since he joined Kawasaki in 2015.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It has been an incredible weekend of racing. I have been especially happy with Superpole yesterday because the lap I made then was maybe the best lap I have ever made on a bike. I am really proud of that. Of course the race wins were really nice to take away. Today was a race of two halves. In the first half I raced hard until I got a warning so in the second half I just managed things to try and be safe and bring her home. I had a little bit left at the end but the biggest problem was the wind today. I was pulling a gap but then I had a huge front slide in T11, and my foot came off the peg, at mid-race distance. I decided just to ride and save something for the last laps after that. I had a big wobble coming out of 11 again near the end and I then just tried to be clever in the last lap and cover the last corner. My line was probably not the fastest way around there but it covered any move up the inside and I made it to the line first.”

It was an important day of statistics for Rea, as he also secured his 45th WSBK career win and his 30th individual race win for Kawasaki.

In the championship Rea now leads by 64 points, from his team-mate Sykes, with Chaz Davies third on 111 points and second race faller Marco Melandri on 97.

The next races in the series will take place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of May, at the Imola circuit in Italy.

WSBK – Rea wins Race One at Assen

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Jonathan Rea claimed the Race One win after a day of controversy at Assen.

The Ulsterman was caught up in a war of words with Ducati’s Chaz Davies in Parc Ferme, with the title rivals exchanging candid views about a coming together in qualifying – the Kawasaki rider was convinced he had left Davies enough room; Davies adamant that Rea had ruined his hot lap. Race Control sided with the Welshman, judging Rea had impeded the progress of a rival while he had been setting a fast lap, and thus imposed a penalty demoting him to fourth.

Tensions were still simmering on the grid for the start, with Davies still seething about Rea’s ‘lack of sportingness’.

As the lights dropped, Davies, Sykes and Rea made strong starts, with Davies doing most of the early front-running.

The pace was fast and Rea set a new lap record, over a second faster then the previous one, on lap three, with a 1’34.880 as he caught Davies, shadowing the Ducati rider for lap after lap.

Rea eventually pounced, only to be re-passed, and after a close battle, managed to edge back into front with two laps to go. However, the drama was not over as Davies was forced to stop trackside on Lap 20 with an electrical issue.

Rea crossed the line to take the win, his tenth at the Dutch track, with team-mate Tom Sykes claiming second and Ducati’s Marco Melandri taking over third spot.

Rea said: “That one was really nice because the more wins you get on a certain track the more pressure you feel to repeat it. I am not sure why I click so well with Assen but it seems to be working. It seems like our bike was working very well in the faster sections of the track, and Chaz was fast out of T5 in acceleration. I could maintain the lap time as we were to-ing and fro-ing at certain parts of the track, but I was strong in the back section, where it counts for passes. I had good pace at the end and I wanted to go through then and make a gap. But every time I put my nose in front there was a big block pass into the last corner. It was, honestly, very unfortunate for Chaz at the end and it is never a good way to lose points. But it was important for me that that bad luck happened to him when he was behind me because at that point of the race I was trying to make my rhythm and go away.”

WSBK – Rea takes brace at season opener at Phillip Island

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Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea celebrated his 39th and 40th career WSBK wins after winning both races from the season opener at Phillip Island.

Rea claimed pole, and in a dramatic race, the defending champion was part of the leading pack of seven riders which saw the lead change hands almost every lap until tyre wear and performance came into play in the closing stages.

The final lap saw Rea in a scintillating battle with Ducati’s Chaz Davies, with the Ulsterman taking the flag by the narrowest of margins.

The second Phillip Island race saw a small piece of history being made on two main fronts. Firstly, race one front row winner Rea, second placed man Davies and third placed Tom Sykes had to start Race Two from the third row under the new championship regulations – Sykes took over seventh grid place, Davies eighth and Rea ninth, in another new twist to the 2017 season.

The opening race saw the Yamaha of Lowes and the Aprilia of Eugene Laverty involved in a hard fight for first, before the field closed and Rea pounced.

Rea was able to get into the lead as early as lap six, but was unable to pull away, with Davies, Sykes, Fores and Melandri all in the mix.

The final lap was again between Rea and Davies, with the reigning champion winning by a margin of  just 0.025 seconds.

This latest race win gave Rea his magical 40th career victory; a level only reached and then later passed by three other riders in WorldSBK history –  Carl Fogarty, Troy Bayliss and Noriyuki Haga.

Rea, the 2015 and 2016 champion, also scored the Superpole win on Saturday to open his account with a perfect weekend.

Rea said: “Phillip Island was really rewarding and to win two last lap battles here means a lot because it is a such a hard track to lead from the front on. While that 40th career victory means a lot, it is more important to put a good score on the board for round one.

When I went through to clean air in the lead with three or four to go I was worried that the other riders may be learning too much about the bike. I had to be sure just to change the lines up a little bit but on the last lap, from Siberia corner onwards, I just put my head down and completed a very good back section. I covered my line into the MG hairpin and got myself tucked in as well as I could on the front straight. There was not only one area where we found some pace in the winter tests; we generally just polished the bike. Nothing magic happened but I feel good about this bike. The way things have changed a little bit have suited me. I can ride less on the limit and we have more tyre left to fight with at the end of races, compared to last year.”

WSBK – Davies dominates in the dry, Rea reigns in the rain

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The first of the two WSBK races after the summer break at the German Lausitz EuroSpeedway circuit, a track where the factory derivative World championship has not raced since 2007, finished with Ducati’s Chaz Davies claiming the Race One win.

The Welshman’s domination of the race was a crushing blow to the Kawasaki duo of Tom Sykes and Johnny Rea, winning with a gap of more than ten seconds ahead of his nearest rival Sykes, posting the best lap time and snatching pole in the morning.

Davies got off the line well, followed by the trio of Sykes, Rea and Italian Lorenzo Savadori on the IodaRacing Team bike, with Davide Giugliano, Nicky Hayden, Jordi Torres and Michael Van Der Mark squabbling for honours in the second pack.

The first surprise of the race came in the seventh lap when Jonathan Rea, in third place at the time, crashed after going long on a corner and was forced to retire to pit lane. The Ulsterman later admitted that a false neutral had caused him to crash, an issue which has blighted his title defence, costing him a whole host of valuable points.

Lorenzo Savadori (riding in a provisional podium position) then joined him a lap later, retiring after losing the front end of his bike and ending up in the gravel.

Lap nine saw the race lose one of its protagonists, with local hero Markus Reiterberger forced to retire because of a technical problem with his BMW.

In the meantime, Davies continued to ride undisturbed at the front, stretching out his advantage over his nearest rival, Tom Sykes to six seconds.

The second part of the race had no more exciting surprises in store for the leading riders, and Davies crossed the line first with more than ten seconds on the second place finisher, Tom Sykes, and eleven ahead of the third place rider, Honda’s Nicky Hayden.

The victory gives the Welshman his fifth win of the season after his double wins at Aragón and Imola and strengthens his hold on third place in the overall standings.

If the weather conditions were fair on Saturday, Race 2 was almost wash out. In fact, just a few moments before the start, light but persistent rain began to fall on the track, forcing race direction to delay the start no less than twice before deciding on a reduced, 16-lap race.

At the start, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes got off the line well, overtaking Chaz Davies on the Ducati to move into the lead. A few corners later, Jonathan Rea also managed to get past the Welshman. Unfortunately, Sykes was unable to finish even the first lap, sliding to the ground before completing it, but managing to remount and rejoin the race in penultimate place.

The race lead went to his teammate Jonathan Rea, ahead of the Ducati pair of Davide Giugliano, in second place, and Davies in third.

On the fourth lap Davide Giugliano suffered a heavy crash, followed quickly by Lorenzo Savadori, Anthony West and Jordi Torres. The wet conditions were wreaking havoc, and on Lap 11 Yamaha’s Alex Lowes fell, as did Honda’s Michael van der Mark four laps later. The Dutchman’s bike took a proper beating but he was able to remount and rejoined the race in eighth place.

Towards the end of the race, Yamaha’s Sylvain Guintoli, who was returning to racing following a lengthy injury lay-off, overtook Davies to move into fifth place, but it was Rea who prevailed, crossing the line an astonishing 13 seconds ahead of Italian Alex De Angelis on the IodaRacing Team bike, and 15 seconds ahead of Xavi Forés on the Barni Racing Team machine in third place. Leon Camier piloted his MV Agusta to fourth place ahead of Sylvain Guintoli and Chaz Davies.

WSBK – Rea wins action-packed Race One at Assen

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Race One at Assen saw a tantalising battle at the front as four riders pushed themselves and their bikes to the limit as they chased the win.

When the red light went out polesitter Tom Sykes got off the holeshot, with his teammate Jonny Rea and Ducati’s and Chaz Davies close behind, followed by Sylvain Guintoli on the Yamaha and home town hero, Dutchman Michael Van der Mark on the Honda.

Rea snatched the lead on lap two, and the leading trio of Rea, Sykes and Davies set a blistering pace, pulling a second’s lead on Guintoli, Van der Mark and Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden.

Van der Mark clearly had the bit between his teeth and a podium in his sights, overtaking Guintoli and closing the gap to the leading trio.

Davies then got the better of Sykes and then Rea, moving temporarily into the lead, before Rea ran wide in the sixth lap, allowing Sykes and Van der Mark to get by. This error by the world champion means there were five riders from three different manufacturers all within just over a second of each other – Davies on Ducati, Sykes on Kawasaki, Van der Mark on Honda, Rea on Kawasaki and Hayden on Honda.

Van der Mark struck in the eight lap, overtaking Sykes and moving into second place. The move clearly unsettled Sykes, who outbraked himself in Turn One on the next lap, launching his bike spectacularly into the gravel trap.

The battle for the front ignited at the start of lap 17, when Van der Mark made his move on the first corner to overtake Rea, who retaliated a bit later to take back the position. At the end of the same lap, Rea then attempted to get the better of Davies, but his efforts were thwarted and he was forced to fend off the Dutchman again in order to hang onto second place.

The three-way tussle continued on the next lap, with Rea overtaking Davies who was relegated to second place and was then forced to yield another position to the flying Dutchman Van der Mark’s Honda.

The Honda pilot had his sights set on the top step of the podium at all costs and in the 19th lap he moved into the lead, overtaking Rea, but then he went long and the Northern Irishman took it back. The young Dutch rider’s dreams were then shattered during the penultimate lap when he crashed out, sending his bike hurling toward the safety barriers.

Rea and Davies battled down to the last corner for the top step of the podium, with the Ducati rider just two tenths behind the Kawasaki as they crossed the line, and Hayden clinching third place more than two seconds down the road.

Race 1 standings:

1) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)

2) Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)

3) Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team)

4) Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)

5) Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)

6) Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing Team)

7) Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team)

8) Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team)

9) Román Ramos (Team GoEleven)

10) Lucas Mahias (Pedercini Racing)

WSBK – Rea continues to be the man to beat, winning Race One in Thailand

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Reigning world champion Jonathan Rea continued his blistering start to the season, winning the first WSBK race at Buriram in Thailand, just 0.222 seconds ahead of his team-mate Tom Sykes.

Pole sitter Michael Van Der Mark was passed by the Factory Kawasakis at the start, with Rea getting the holeshot ahead of Sykes, but in the second lap Sykes took back the race lead, a position that he managed to hold onto until the sixteenth lap when he was overtaken by again Rea.

Sykes stalked Rea for lap after lap and got a glimmer of a chance for Sykes to pull back and pass Rea in the final laps as the Ulsterman was impeded by a backmarker. Sykes closed the gap and looked to make a move on the final corner but Rea had the better drive and saw chequered flag first.

Van der Mark finished an impressive third place, some nine seconds further back.

Rea said: “The pace was fast; I did not expect it to be so fast as all weekend we have been slower than last year. So it was a good, fast race. I put my head down and with four laps to go I got a small gap of about 0.7 or 0.8 seconds on Tom. On the final laps I got caught out in the first turn by another rider but it was not so much. I had done all my work by then as I had completely emptied my tank with about four laps to go to try and get away. I am a little bit tired now because I went full gas in those last four laps. We were able to capitalise on that work and I feel like I rode for a stronger win than I have had for a long time. Tomorrow, I expect my bike set-up will be much stronger.”

Race One results:

1) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)

2) Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)

3) Michael Van Der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team)

4) Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)

5) Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team)

6) Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team)

7) Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team)

8) Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)

9) Alex De Angelis (IodaRacing Team)

10) Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing Team)

WSBK – Rea claims second win at season opener at Phillip Island

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Race Two at the season opener at Phillip Island proved to be another scintillating battle between the leading riders, with Johnny Rea again prevailing and securing another race won.
It was Rea’s team-mate Tom Sykes who got off the line strongly from pole position, followed closely by Rea and the rejuvenated Davide Giugliano, Michael Van Der Mark, who is riding the wheels off the ageing Fireblade and Ducati rider Chaz Davies.

Sykes looked strong and was giving a riding masterclass until he ran wide at Turn 4 on Lap 13, losing three places. Reigning world champion Rea needed no second invitation and dived into first place. However, his lead was short lived and Van Der Mark overtook the Ulsterman just one lap later.

Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden was also putting in a strong ride on the Blade, overtaking Sykes and Giugliano to move into fourth.

The leading group continued to push each other hard and on the penultimate lap Ducati rider Chaz Davies attacked race leader Van Der Mark and second placed Rea, taking the lead with a lap to go. Rea struck straight back at the Southern Loop, reclaiming first spot on the final lap but Davies was desperate for the win, climbing all over the back of the Kawasaki. Davies looked like he had the measure of Rea but lost the front pushing too hard into Turn 4 and crashed out.

That left Rea out in front to complete a splendid double win with Michael Van Der Mark behind him, followed by an excellent Davide Giugliano who managed to get past Nicky Hayden in the final series of turns.

WSBK – Rea wins photo finish in Race One at Phillip Island

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Johnny Rea claimed the first win of the 2016 WSBK season after a sensational last lap of a drama-filled season opener at Phillip Island.

The reigning World Champion started the race behind  team-mate Tom Sykes, in pole position, and Ducati rider Davide Giugliano in second,but both ZX-10Rs got the best get away from the light and pushed each other hard as they entered the Southern Loop on the very first lap. They were joined by Ducati’s Chaz Davies, who managed to make a stunning start from ninth on the grid, Giugliano and Honda rider Michael Van Der Mark.

Sykes lead the group as the race unfolded, with the Ducatis squabbling among themselves, closely followed by Rea and the Flying Dutchman Van Der Mark. However, Sykes started to drop back after surrendering the lead to his team-mate, and was soon embroiled in a close fight with Hayden and the Yamahas of Lowes and Guintoli.

Rea continued to set the pace, leading Davies and a rejuvenated Giulgliano on the Ducatis, with Van Der Mark staying in contention on the Honda. However a mistake by Giuliano saw the Italian drop back, and  Davies and Van Der Mark continued push the Ulsterman hard. Rea stayed calm and kept his race rhythm going as those behind him continued to play cat and mouse with each other, and as the laps ticked down, Davies got closer and started to seriously pressure the Kawasaki rider, probing possible passes for a last lap attack.

With the last lap underway, Davies pounced down the hill from Lukey Heights, taking the lead just before the final corner, before Rea took the outside line and blasted around the Ducati through the final turn, the two bikes straightening up on the Gardner Straight with almost nothing between them. In the shootout to the line Rea’s bravery around the outside proved to give him the pace necessary to nudge the nose of the Kawasaki over the line first, separated from the Ducati by just 0.063 seconds.Van Der Mark claimed third, recording his fourth career podium in only his second season, and Giugliano finished fourth in his first race back after a serious injury. Sykes was disappointed to finish fifth after his positive start, but 2014 WSBK Champion Sylvain Guintoli delighted to be the first Yamaha home in sixth, an outstanding result for the YZF R1 in its first WSBK outing. Leon Camier carried through his incredible form from practice to end the race seventh on his MV Agusta, with Jordi Torres on his Althea BMW behind him in eightt ensuring there were six manufacturers classified in the top 10. Series new boy Nicky Hayden struggled to keep the pace in the latter stages of his debut and dropped back to ninth, whereas local hero Josh Brookes made up for a difficult qualifying session to come home 10th.

WSBK – Dominant Rea does the double in Thailand

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Johnny Rea scored two emphatic race wins in the first ever WSBK races at the Chang International Circuit.

The first 20-lap race of the day belonged to Rea from the green light to chequered flag, as the Superpole winner became race one winner after setting an unbeatable race pace in the 1’34s for almost the whole race duration.

In race two Rea was a model of consistency as he repeated his perfect display from race one and in doing so scored his first double in Kawasaki colours. He also set the new lap record with a blistering time of 1’33.817.

The results mean Rea leaves the new venue with a ten point championship lead. He said: “For me it has been a perfect weekend with pole position and two race wins – we could not have asked for any more. The bike can always be better but at the beginning of the weekend the Ninja ZX-10R was at a really good level, my pace was really fast, the rhythm was good so we did not necessarily chase something we really could have got lost with. Our base setting right now is good and it gives me confidence to push the boundaries and understand the bike. I have not had so many double wins in my career but I have been lucky to have some. They do not come round a lot so I want to savour this moment and reflect on what we have done tomorrow and enjoy these next few days.”