Round 8 Race 1 Misano
Kawasaki Racing Team Rider Jonathan Rea took his first race win since Assen in the opening 21-lap FIM Superbike World Championship race at Misano today, holding off his race long companion and team-mate Tom Sykes by only 0.090 seconds over the line.
From the start, and after some of their main rivals had run off track into the first chicane, Rea and Tom made an escape from their peer group as they kept up a pace that none of their rivals could match.
At halfway distance Rea slowed to allow Sykes to take the leading duties but Sykes refused the offer and maintained his track position right behind Rea for all 21 laps, looking for a way past in the final two laps. Unable to find a gap, despite a strong attempt into the penultimate right hand corner, Sykes drew himself from behind Rea’s slipstream to close up to within 0.090 seconds for a class leading 1-2 finish.
Earlier on Saturday morning Tom had taken his sixth Superpole win of the year and the 36th of his career. He has won all of the last five pole position qualifying contests at Misano. Tom set a new best lap of 1’34.037 to win Superpole.
“Nearly there, but not quite. Overall I am relatively happy with our performance, and consistency, but I am just a little bit disappointed that I did not win because I certainly feel that Marcel and Danilo and the boys have worked hard. We lost a little bit of time yesterday but we made up for it today and felt we had a good set-up – so I have to be happy. It was just not able to make a clean pass in the last couple of laps. I know on the last two laps when I tried I was not able to put the nose of the bike in a good position. We were less than one tenth of a second from the win and we have to take some positives. We have been fast and consistent in recent rounds and we have come to another completely different circuit, where Jonathan has been really strong and winning in the past, and we had a good potential to win the race. We just were not able to get into the right track position on the last lap.”