Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Rea has done the double on his Kawasaki, winning today’s world superbike race two clash at Victoria’s Phillip Island in a nail biting finish against arch rival, Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
It was the home away from home victory for Rea, who is married to Phillip Island’s Tatia Weston and spends summer at the island, and the adopted Aussie celebrated after the race with his local supporters.
It was an intense battle for 22 laps, and it all boiled down to an extremely tight duel between Rea and fellow Briton Davies on the final lap.
This time Rea kept his arch-rival at bay by 0.025 seconds, with his combined winning margin over Davies in the two races just 0.067 seconds.
It’s the second consecutive clean sweep for Rea at the 4.445km grand prix circuit, and he now joins Carl Fogarty, Aussie Troy Bayliss and Noriyuki Haga in the exclusive WorldSBK ’40s’ winning club.
Davies’ teammate Marco Melandri made amends for a crash in race one with an excellent third position, 0.249 seconds behind Rea, while Alex Lowes made it two fourth places on his Yamaha.
Spaniard Xavi Fores (Ducati) was also in the thick of the front-running action before finishing fifth, ahead of world No. 2 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), Michael van der Mark (Yamaha), Leon Camier (MV Agusta), Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia).
Australia’s wildcard Josh Brookes brought his Yamaha home in 12th position after he retired with overheating issues in race one. Brookes finished just on the tail of Alex de Angelis (Kawasaki).
Nicky Hayden (Honda) was DNF after crashing at turn 10, while Jordi Torres (BMW) retired with a technical problem.
Rea now takes a maximum of 50pts into round two in Thailand on March 12, ahead of Davies (40), Lowes (26), Sykes (26), Fores (21), Camier 19), van der Mark (16), Melandri (16), Laverty (14) and Torres (9).
WorldSBK Race Results
1. Jonathan Rea (Northern Ireland – Kawasaki
2. Chaz Davies (Great Britain) – Ducati – Gap 0.025 seconds
3. Marco Melandri (Italy) – Ducati
4. Alex Lowes (Great Britain) – Yamaha
5. Xavi Fores (Spain) – Ducati