Jonathan Rea second in opening World Superbike race at Navarra

Jonathan Rea finished a safe runner-up in the first ever World Superbike race at Navarra in northern Spain behind dominant winner Scott Redding on Saturday.

By Kyle White
Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 1:41 pm

The Northern Ireland rider had claimed pole position on his Kawasaki, equalling American Ben Spies’ 2009 record of seven successive pole starts.

Redding shot into the lead but Rea soon found a way past on the opening lap and managed to open a gap of just under half-a-second.

However, Briton Redding, who qualified second fastest on the front row, began to claw back ground and he reeled in the race leader before making a pass into the 185mph first corner at the beginning of lap six.

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Jonathan Rea finished as the runner-up in the first World Superbike race at Navarra in notrhern Spain on Saturday.

Redding gradually began to open a gap on the Ducati and he was largely untroubled throughout the remainder of the race, pulling away to win by 2.5 seconds after Rea lost time following two big moments at Turn 9.

Rea finished a clear runner-up to extend his title lead to seven points over Toprak Razgatlioglu, who was a further 3.3 seconds back.

"What a lap in Superpole!" Rea said. I really got the best out of the tyre but I was overcooking a few corners, missing some apexes, so I was really surprised at the lap time.

"I was a little bit nervous about the start of the race. It was very important to be at the front and we had quite a good start, but Scott was just a little bit better.

"At the beginning I felt I could go to the front and when Scott went quite wide in T5 and T6 I went on the inside and passed him. From there I just kept my rhythm until he blasted me on the straight," he added.

"After that I thought, ’I’m there’ but then the front started to heat up, stability started to go down and the front was moving. Over-pushing the front, I had a few slides and enough to tell me to brake a bit earlier. I lost as much as one second during one mistake and Scott went away.

"I did not feel he was destroying us lap-by-lap when it was constant, the gap was quite similar, so I feel we can make some changes on the front tomorrow to make a step forward."

Pata Yamaha rider Razgatlioglu had to fight his way through from the third row after qualifying eighth fastest, but the Turkish contender rode a strong race to secure the final rostrum place and pocket 16 points.

Redding, who made it back to back wins following his victory in race three in the previous round at Most in the Czech Republic, remains third in the standings after the opening race of the seventh round, 45 points behind Rea.

Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha) was also on his own in fourth, with the top six completed by Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad).

Eugene Laverty misses a third straight round as his RC Squadra Corse BMW team undergoes internal changes.