Jonathan Rea stretches lead at top of World Superbikes series

Jonathan Rea on the podium in Spain with Chaz Davies (left) and Tom Sykes (right)
Jonathan Rea on the podium in Spain with Chaz Davies (left) and Tom Sykes (right)
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Jonathan Rea extended his lead in the World Superbike Championship after another exceptional performance at Motorland Aragon, where the Ulster rider sealed a race win and runner-up finish in Spain.

The new Kawasaki signing has won four of the six races held this season so far, twice finishing as the runner-up on the Ninja ZX-10R to move further ahead at the title summit, 26 points clear of Red Devils Aprilia rider Leon Haslam.

Rea, who hasn’t looked back after leaving Honda to take on a new challenge with the factory Kawasaki team, is bidding to become Northern Ireland’s first motorcycling world champion since the great Joey Dunlop.

He won a nail-biting first race by 0.051s from the hard-charging Chaz Davies after a dramatic final lap as Tom Sykes came home in third, with Davies turning the tables in race two, winning comfortably by three seconds from Rea with Haslam claiming the final place on the rostrum in third.

Rea said: “I did not expect to win here because Tom and Chaz are really fast riders and this is their best circuit. So to finish with a first and second is a bit surreal.

“I need to just keep working hard like I have been and take stock of things. We have not had a result lower than second so far.

“It is clear Kawasaki has made a big step in the winter and we are really competitive, so I am happy.”

Results:

Race 1 – 1 J Rea (Kawasaki), 2 C Davies (Ducati), 3 T Sykes (Kawasaki), 4 L Haslam (Aprilia), 5 J Torres (Aprilia), 6 X Fores (Ducati), 7 N Terol (Ducati), 8 L Mercado (Kawasaki).

Race 2 – 1 C Davies, 2 J Rea, 3 L Haslam, 4 J Torres, 5 X Fores, 6 D Salom (Kawasaki), 7 L Mercado, 8 M VD Mark (Honda).

Next race: Assen, April 19.