Rea Doubles Up At Estoril
Six time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea was a double winner on Sunday at Estoril in Portugal, the venue for round three of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship.
In two exciting races where the lead changed hands between Rea and his title rivals Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) several times, JR came out on top in both by taking the lead on the last lap.
The Superpole race, run over 10 laps as usual, started after a fully wet morning warm up session. With damp patches still around and some narrow dry racing lines developing lap-by-lap, the race was an intense affair for all. Closing in on the final lap he was to have a stroke of good fortune when Razgatlioglu almost crashed, and Rea swept past to hold onto the lead in the final corners and take the race win.
In the full 21-lap Race Two Rea eventually battled with Alvaro Bautista, after breaking away from a four rider fight with Razgatlioglu and his own team-mate Lowes. It took two late attempts to pass Bautista but Jonathan timed his final manoeuvre into the slow chicane very well and prevented Bautista from mounting an immediate comeback and soon the chequered flag was waved on another Rea victory.
In the overall championship fight Bautista has 161, Rea 144, Razgatlioglu 109 and, in seventh place, Lowes has 54 points.
With the Estoril weekend now complete, round four takes place at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli between 10-12 June.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “The Superpole race was a little bit of a gift really. Toprak just got really deep into the chicane, used a lot of back brake, and that took the weight off the front. He lost the front and then I just kept my line. I wanted to lead into that last long right corner, and we did it. That was an exciting final race today! I had made a small mistake but in the penultimate lap I was quite strong and able to recover everything. Going into the last lap I just got really good traction from the last corner onto the straight, used the slipstream for the first part and said to myself, ‘just brake, don’t mess up.’ I was able to stop, hook the corner, and by T3 I was right there with Alvaro. My traction was really good out and I was able to drive close to him. I tried to pass in T7 but he cut back then parked in the apex of the chicane. I did my line and tried to make a good exit. On the final corner I had such a big slide that I thought he was going to ‘do me’ but I just kept riding the slide, riding the slide, and then eventually I was able to get the job done. It is really nice when a last lap goes your way. Race Two was a great battle, right from the early laps.”