Jonathan Rea took race two victory at Imola to set a new record for the amount of doubles set by one rider in the World Superbike championship. The Kawasaki man made light work of coming through from 9th on the grid, but endured a scrap with Chaz Davies. Both riders have sensational form at Imola and after a couple of attempts, Rea made a move stick at the Variante Alta to cruise off with the win. Davies was second, whilst Tom Sykes secured third.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi further announced his potential, leading for the opening laps on the Aruba.IT Ducati Junior Team bike – a pleasant site to see a #21 Ducati leading in Italy. Rinaldi faded back down the field, finishing 8th in the end, having struggled to manage tyre wear towards the closing stages of the races.
Marco Melandri and Michael van der Mark collided, with the Dutchman wiping out ex GP star Melandri at the Rivazza one corner. Bpth riders walked off OK, with van der Mark later going to the Aruba.IT Ducati garage to apologise. Both riders now have an up hill task to break into the top three in the championship.
Xavi Fores occupied a podium position for the majority of the race before Tom Sykes passed him at the Tamburello chicane. Fores finished fourth, making it his 9th top five of the season. He was also second Ducati again, with only Davies ahead of him on the ‘Bologna Bullet’.
Jordi Torres was a revelation, coming through the order to get his first top five of the year for MV Agusta, whereas Toprak Razgatlioglu finished 8th – teammate Leon Haslam was running in the top 10 before a crash at Tosa corner pushed him down to 16th. Eugene Laverty returned to the top ten with 9th, whereas Imola resident Leandro Mercado rounded out the top 10. The only Honda rider to finish was PJ Jacobsen, in 14th.
Whilst the UK may not be able to score many points by the way of Eurovision, it was nice to see that we can still take points in a skill-based competition such as World Superbikes.
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