Rea remains top of standings after GB round

Castletown resident Jonathan Rea on his way to a third-placed finish in the opening race at Donington over the weekend (Photo courtesy of Kawasaki)

Castletown resident Jonathan Rea on his way to a third-placed finish in the opening race at Donington over the weekend (Photo courtesy of Kawasaki)

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Castletown resident Jonathan Rea remains top of the World Superbike standings after the championship’s visit to Donington Park at the weekend.

Rea continued his remarkable record of finishing on the podium at every race this year with a third-place on Saturday and second on Sunday.

Both races were won by the Northern Irishman’s Kawasaki Racing team-mate Tom Sykes, who now has won his last eight races at the East Midlands circuit.

Rea set a new lap record of 1 minute 27.605 seconds as he tried to reel in a fleeing Sykes on Sunday, the race settling into a high-speed game of cat and mouse between the Ninja ZX-10R pair.

With a handful of laps to go Rea made a pass on Sykes but in finding a false neutral into Goddards he lost ground that he would never quite make up.

Feeling the effects of arm pump close to the end of the intense 23-lap race Rea eased up in the final few laps, with third-place finisher Chaz Davies safely behind him.

Rea, who now leads Sykes by 56 points at the head of the championship, stated: ‘I got another neutral going into the final hairpin corner, just as I had made my pass, so I was a little bit frustrated with that.

‘In the end of the race I did not have much for Tom. I feel my bike was working really good, so I want to thank my team, especially as we have been working close with Kawasaki to get the bike suited to me.

‘It seems we are getting there now. In the last few races we have defined the engine character that I really like and the balance of the bike that seems to be working.

‘To be so close to Tom, in a circuit that he is so strong at, is good because he is riding really well now. I am happy for that and happy to come here and make a big margin in my championship lead as well.

‘That is the priority - but it would have been really nice to cap it off with a win.

‘My bike was feeling really good but near the end I just suffered a little bit with arm pump in my right arm.’

On Saturday, after qualifying fourth Rea was up to second by lap seven but he ran on after finding a false neutral. Rea ended third, 9.808 seconds down on the top two.

The second-half of the season begins in at the Misano World Circuit in Italy over the weekend of June 17-19.

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