Jonathan Rea extended his Championship lead after a thrilling victory in Race 2, engaging in battle with Michael Ruben Rinaldi
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship delivered a stunning battle between Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) with the five-time Champion eventually passing Rinaldi for Race 2 the pair duelled it during the race with Rea coming out on top in the latter stages. Victory for Rea, coupled with Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) finished third in Race 2 for the Pirelli Teruel Round, mean Rea’s Championship lead is now 36 points.
Rea’s path to victory was made harder by both Rinaldi and Reding with Rea pair engaging in a titanic battle during the race; Rinaldi initially passing both when Redding forced Rea and himself out wide at Turn 8, allowing Rinaldi to cut back through Turn 9. Rinaldi and Rea then dropped Redding with the pair engaging in their own fight with Rea coming out on top to deny Rinaldi his second win in as many days.
Rea said: “It was nice, it was aggressive at times and very, very close but on the limit with both Michael and Scott. The race was quite fun, the laps passed quite quickly. In the end, I could see the ZX-10RR was stronger in some areas, especially corner entry and initial exit. I was struggling to find an opportunity to pass Michael, but little-by-little his tyre would keep dropping and I could get a really good exit of Turn 5 and put it on the inside of Turn 6 and then do a really good sector two and give myself some breathing room for the straight.”
Discussing the battle with Rinaldi, Rea said: “He’s running very smoothly, he’s easy to follow, quite predictable on the bike and doesn’t make mistakes which is really cool. It was a lot of fun; I had a lot of trust in him because everything was in line and we were strong in different areas of the track and that’s what got it done today.”
Rea came out on top today after battling with both Redding and Rinaldi and will be hoping for more of the same as WorldSBK hits the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first time in just a couple of weeks. A test session has been conducted at the circuit, but it will be relatively unknown to everyone and hopes will be high for another on-track battle at the front of the field.
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