After podiums in Race 1 and the Superpole Race, six-time Champion Rea could only finish fourth in Sunday’s Race 2 at Misano
Race 2 for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s visit to the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” was the first time Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) finished a race outside the podium places in 2022 as he came home in fourth for the final Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round battle.
Rea started the race from the front row after taking third in the Tissot Superpole Race and would have been hoping he could continue his run of scoring podiums in every race he has finished this season. However, the six-time Champion lost ground to both Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), before being overtaken by Bautista’s teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi. He was unable to respond to Rinaldi and finished the race in fourth place, almost four seconds back from the Italian.
Speaking in his media debrief after Race 2, Rea said: “It’s both good and bad news; good that we set the level so high to always be inside the top three but of course, this race is a bit of a bogey race for us in these last years. It’s been really tough in the heat and with the different tyre options that Pirelli brought, it was hard to understand after a very cold Friday. I don’t feel that we showed our full potential but in Race 2 today, fourth was all I could do. I put up a fight in the beginning but when I saw the pace of Alvaro and Toprak and then when Michael got ahead, that was all I could do. I was running myself into mistakes, I had lost a lot of rear entry traction which meant there was chatter on the front, so it was more a case of nursing the bike home and moving on.”
In the Tissot Superpole Race, Rea started from third place and finished the race there, with the Ulsterman unable to improve his grid slot for Race 2. Although he was able to fight in the early stages of the 10-lap race, Rea dropped back by a couple of seconds to finish in third place.
Explaining the Superpole Race in his media debrief, Rea said: “When I saw Toprak’s pace at the start of the Tissot Superpole Race, I understood quite quickly that with my package today it would be impossible to fight for the win. The scrap with Alvaro was very important, just to try and dig in and stay there to see what I could do. However, it was the same again and when he came through, he had much more pace than us. We have to accept these days. We still have a great package but just not working great here; we went from Estoril the other weekend where we were really strong to here, sucking this one up, and then to Donington Park where hopefully we can get some momentum back.”
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