Jonathan Rea third in race one at Aragon as Scott Redding reclaims World Superbike title advantage
Ulsterman Rea led the title battle by four points going into Saturday’s race but the five-time champion had to settle for third place after an uncharacteristic mistake allowed Redding's team-mate, Chaz Davies, to snatch the runner-up spot.
Rea, who qualified on pole on his Kawasaki, quickly moved into the lead after a poor start from the front row, but Redding was always in touch and the 2019 British Superbike champion took the lead into Turn 1 with 11 laps to go.
The 27-year-old was able to use the superior top-end speed of the Ducati to hold Rea at bay on the main straight as he set a hot pace at the front.
Rea was forced into a mistake as he ran wide off the track with four laps to go, allowing Davies to close the deficit and ultimately make a pass for second place, edging past the Northern Ireland man on the brakes into Turn 1.
Davies, who started from the third row of the grid after qualifying ninth in Superpole, began to close on Redding but eventually ran out of time.
Redding wrapped up his third win of the season by 0.3 seconds, with Rea coming home a further 1.8s in adrift.
The former MotoGP rider now leads Rea by five points going into Sunday’s Superpole race (10:00 BST). The second 18-lap race on Sunday takes place at 13:00 BST.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Go Eleven Ducati) and Pata Yamahas rider Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu were the top six.
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) crashed out following a huge high-side as he held second place behind Rea, fortunately avoiding being struck by the chasing pack as he scrambled off the track to safety.
Eugene Laverty slid off his BMW on the sighting lap after an apparent issue with his S1000RR. The Toome man was able to start the race, which he finished in 16th place.
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