WSBK: Jonathan Rea strengthens championship grip at Misano

Jonathan Rea at Misano.
Jonathan Rea at Misano.

Jonathan Rea pulled further clear at the top of the World Superbike Championship with his 11th victory of the season at Misano in Italy on Sunday.

The Kawasaki rider made amends after a tyre gamble in the opening race failed to pay off as he hit back to reel in Ducati’s Davide Giugliano in the second race to seal another maximum 25 points.

Rea finished second behind team-mate Tom Sykes in the opener after opting to run with the harder ‘B’ compound rear Pirelli tyre.

He had to battle hard to hold off Chaz Davies on the final lap to secure the runner-up spot, but it was a case of normal service resumed for Rea in race two.

The 28-year-old broke the lap record as he caught and passed Sykes on lap eight before chasing down Giugliano, who had opened a lead of 1.2 seconds at the front.

Rea, though, was soon making inroads on the ZX-10R and made the decisive pass with six laps remaining to hit the front after switching to the softer ‘A’ compound rubber.

Aprilia’s Leon Haslam came through to clinch third place behind Giugliano, followed by Davies and Sykes with wildcard entry Max Biaggi completing the top six on the Aprilia.

Rea now leads Sykes by 133 points after eight rounds, with Haslam third, 149 points behind the Northern Ireland rider.

Round nine of the championship takes place at Laguna Seca on July 19 prior to the summer break, with the series resuming in Malaysia on August 2.