REA DOUBLES UP IN ESTORIL
Jonathan Rea took both WorldSBK race wins today, on the final day of action at the Estoril WorldSBK round, extending his lead in the FIM Superbike World Championship to 35 points.
In the ten-lap Tissot Superpole race Rea was on top form to take his third win of the 2021 season. Rea had chosen an SC0 standard rear tyre for the ten lap race, an unusual choice as the SCX was specifically developed for this intense sprint competition. The choice worked to perfection for Rea, who finally motored away from his rivals on the ‘0’ rear option, leading the final five laps, and winning from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) by 0.690 seconds.
The final race of the weekend was the 21-lap WorldSBK race two and Rea found himself in sixth place at the end of the first lap. However, by lap five he was in second place, behind the Ducati of title rival Scott Redding (Ducati). On lap 15 Jonathan made his move and passed Redding, who fell a few corners later, and kept up a strong pace until the end, winning from Chaz Davies (Ducati) by 2.787 seconds. Rea has now won four of the first six races in the 2021 WorldSBK campaign and increased his career WorldSBK victory total to 103.
In the championship standings Rea has 110 points, Razgatlioglu 75, Redding 72 and Kawasaki team-mate Alex Lowes 62.
After Estoril WorldSBK race action resumes at Misano in Italy, June 11-13 for round three.
Jonathan Rea said: “They are never easy but race two was fun, to be honest. I had a proper moment with Rinaldi in T4 and could have been down and then Laverty came through with good pace. I thought I was in trouble because the majority of the grid had the SCX tyre, and I opted for the SC0. I really believed in it, to be honest. But after those three or four laps I wasn’t convinced. But, once I got a bit of clear track I could see that Toprak and Chaz were not going away, and I just tried to keep the gap. Then all of a sudden Toprak got a long lap penalty and that is like a free pass for track position. He is hard to pass. Scott was in a really solid rhythm but I was catching him in sectors two, three and four, but I was struggling a little bit in sector one. Step-by-step I got there. I was pretty happy to be able to stay there in the slipstream. I could feel Scott trying to pass in Turn Four and then I saw on my pitboard that he was out. Unfortunate for him but it gave me a bit of breathing space and let me concentrate on my race. Staying in the mid-1’37 lap times was pretty tough out there today because the track temperature was super-high. Kudos to Pirelli because obviously the SC0 tyre is working in quite a wide range, and also kudos to my crew because they made amazing decisions all weekend. To have one podium and two wins means it has been an incredible weekend.”