The six-time Champion remained in the podium battle but dropped down to fifth place after his moment at the left-hand corner
The battle for second place in Race 2 for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was an incredible four-way fight at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. One rider involved was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as he looked to make it three podiums from three during the Catalunya Round, but finished in fourth place after a moment at Turn 7 in Sunday’s Race 2 which dropped him back down the order.
Rea was running in third place on Lap 16 until he ran wide at Turn 7, a downhill left-hander that forms the first part of the chicane. After this, he dropped down the order to fifth place behind Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing). Although he was able to get past Bassani a lap later, Rea was unable to regain the time he lost to reigning Champion Razgatlioglu in the remainder of the race, eventually finishing in fourth place.
Revealing the cause of the moment, Rea said: “The race was under control for our expectations until, I think, six to go. I was behind Rinaldi and starting to plot how the end of the race would play out. I went into Turn 7, found neutral, but I was coming from fourth to third to second and I couldn’t stop the bike. I did all I could do to stay upright because I had no engine brake. The front was jumping. I stayed on the track, rammed it back into gear and set off. Axel came past but I made quick work of him and I focused on Toprak just to fight until the end. My rhythm was good at the end but just ran out of laps.”
Despite missing out on three podiums in three races in the Catalunya Round, his team’s home round with their workshop just outside the circuit, Rea was content with two second-place finishes and fourth in Barcelona. The results mean he is now 67 points behind Bautista in the title fight with four rounds and 248 points available with WorldSBK next visiting the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve for the final European round of the season.
Reviewing his weekend as a whole, Rea said: “If you gave me those results at the start of the week, I would’ve accepted it because it’s a really track tough for us. But, after seeing our pace on Saturday, understanding how the start of the race was, I felt like we left a little bit out there. Equally satisfied with our position. We had nothing for Alvaro this weekend. He was incredible, a different level. I felt like we got a lot from our bike, we improved the settings on our bike at a circuit that’s very difficult for us. We’re losing so much time in a couple of key areas, but we’ve still been able to fight. I feel proud of our effort as a team.”
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