WSBK: Imperious Rea doubles up to break Jerez duck in style
Jonathan Rea's historic season continued apace at Jerez as the triple World Superbike champion clinched a sizzling double for his first ever wins at the Spanish circuit.
Rea had to start from ninth place on the grid for race two on Sunday after winning the opener on Saturday, but he made his now trademark lightning-fast start and actually led over the line at the end of the first lap.
PATA Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark was back in front at turn one, but Rea quickly shot past into the lead on his Kawasaki and began to disappear into the distance.
Within the space of a few laps it was clear that it was game over for the rest of the field as Rea continued to extend his lead on the Ninja ZX-10RR.
The 30-year-old never relented as he took total control of the race and Rea could afford to roll off the throttle at the end, wrapping up his 14th victory of the season by 2.7 seconds from Aruba.it Ducati rider Marco Melandri, whose team-mate Chaz Davies completed the top three.
Rea, celebrating his fourth double of a stellar season, has now matched his tally of 14 victories from 2015, when he secured his first world title in his debut season with Kawasaki.
After safely clinching a record-breaking third straight crown at Magny-Cours in France, Rea set himself a target of winning for the first time at Jerez and also in Qatar, where the final world championship round takes place from November 2-4.
Rea said: “I wouldn’t say they were my best wins of the season but to win dominantly at Jerez after yesterday was really nice.
“We changed the bike a lot and I have to thank Pere [Riba] a lot also because he convinced me to use the soft tyre on the front as well and I wasn’t so sure about it, but I’m glad I used it.
“Also, huge thanks to Pirelli because the rear tyre hung in for me the whole race and even at the end, if I needed to make a push I could because the tyre was like new.
“It’s been a perfect season but next year is going to be a really tough challenge for us so I wanted to make it count here.”
Eugene Laverty, who finished eighth in race one, retired on the Milwaukee Aprilia.