Rapid Rea remains out in front in Superbike Championship series

East Antrim rider Jonathan Rea stretched his championship lead at Aragon. INLT 16-911-CON
East Antrim rider Jonathan Rea stretched his championship lead at Aragon. INLT 16-911-CON
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Local rider Jonathan Rea scored his fourth World Superbikes win of the season in race one at the Spanish Motorland Aragon circuit on Sunday. He followed it up with a second place in race two to extend his championship lead to 26 points over Leon Haslam.

The first race of the day at Motorland Aragon was run on a cool track surface of 18°C. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes led in the early stages until he was passed first by his team-mate Rea and then Ducati’s Chaz Davies.

Ballyclare native Rea had to fight hard for his win, fending of two attacks from Davies on the last lap. Davies made one last attempt to take the win at the last long looping corner but Rea had the measure off the Welsh rider and held on to win by a narrow 0.051 seconds and take the valuable 25 championship points.

In race two the former Larne Grammar pupil had to chase fast-starting Davies for the whole distance and then hold off the attentions of Aprillia’s Leon Haslam in the later stages. He took second place behind Davies, but still extended his championship lead.

In the championship table after three rounds Rea has 140 points from Haslam on 114, with Davies 83 and Sykes 66.

Assen, one of Rea’s favorite tracks, is the next venue on the calendar, with the fourth round taking place this weekend, on Sunday 19 April.

“I did not expect to win here because Tom and Chaz are really fast riders and this is their best circuit. So to finish with a first and second is a bit surreal. I need to just keep working hard like I have been and take stock of things.”