World Superbike: Jonathan Rea Delivers Double Victory At Imola

Jonathan Rea continues to dominate World Superbike, winning both races on Sunday at Imola, his third double of the year and second in succession at the Italian track.

“I do not know what to say because this kind of run has never happened to me before,” Rea said. “The key to the weekend was working hard to make sure we had a package we could fight with.”

Race one was stopped after nine of 19 scheduled laps when David Salom crashed. Full points were awarded following a six-lap sprint. Gridded third for the restart, Rea capitalized on a mistake by the leader, his factory Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes, to win by 0.482 seconds.

“I was a little bit worried,” series points-leader Rea said, “because we were not really set up to be so strong in the beginning of the race.” Rea led race two from start to finish. “When the gap got to one second, I thought, ‘Keep going and no mistakes.’”

Sykes leaves Imola with a pair of seconds, a new race lap record, and third overall in the championship. “In the end,” he said, “I just had to accept that this was our limit today. The good thing is we have improved from previous events and addressed some of our limitations.”

Pirelli Imola Infographic

World Superbike spec-tire provider Pirelli brought more than 4500 tires to Imola, with five fronts and six rears across all weather conditions.

Pirelli debuted a new rear tire, the T0611, at Imola. “Our primary goal was to verify the quality of the soft-compound standard SC0 development solution,” Pirelli Moto Racing Director Giorgio Barbier said. “The fact that it was chosen by three-quarters of the riders on the grid is a good sign.” Those riders included 10 of the top 12 qualifiers, including Rea and Sykes.

Superpole-winner Davide Giugliano, returning from a back injury suffered in preseason testing, was third in race one after getting the holeshot and leading eight laps. He finished fourth in race two.

“I’m really pleased with the podium, which on a personal level is like a win for me,” Giugliano said. “After the first ‘heat,’ I was already tired, and the second part of the race was extremely difficult. I couldn’t have done any more.

“I was undecided as to whether to do race two—the first race really wore me out—but thanks to the Clinica Mobile’s help and support of all the fans, I was able to complete race two in fourth place.”

Aprilia-mounted Jordi Torres earned the final podium spot in race two. “After practice on Friday, I thought this was a difficult track,” he said. “In race one, I had problems with the gearbox and had to withdraw. The guys did a great job fixing my bike for race two, and this third place goes to them.”

Giugliano’s teammate, Chaz Davies, had a forgettable weekend with two mechanical failures while fighting for podium finishes. “A disastrous day for us,” he said. “We were in a position to be able to complete two good races here today, and instead, we go home with nothing.”

“Two technical stops for Davies are extremely costly at this point of the season,” Ducati Superbike Project Director Ernesto Marinelli said. “We need to analyze exactly what happened to prevent it from happening in the future. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we prepare for Donington.”

Where was the reigning world champion, Sylvain Guintoli? In race one, the Frenchman finished fifth, tying his best result on the Pata Honda, but he crashed out of race two. His teammate, Michael van den Mark, also fell, as did Aprilia’s Leon Haslam, who remains second overall in points after finishing fourth in race one.

Kawasaki PJ Jacobsen Imola World Supersport

Fourth in Italy and second overall in the championship chase, New Yorker PJ Jacobsen is seeking his first World Supersport victory.

In World Supersport, Kawasaki-mounted Kenan Sofuoglu came out on top of a great battle with Jules Cluzel, whose MV Agusta teammate, Lorenzo Zanetti, was third. American PJ Jacobsen finished fourth on another Kawasaki and is second overall in championship points. Former AMA Daytona SportBike Champion Martin Cardenas was ninth on a Honda.

Of the 10 races run thus far, Rea has won eight and finished second twice. He has an 87-point championship advantage with eight rounds to go. Cycle World Technical Editor Kevin Cameron summed up the Brit’s performance. “All those years during which Jonathan Rea swung two bats seem to be coming good now.”

Jonathan Rea continues to dominate World Superbike, winning both races on Sunday at Imola, his third double of the year and second in succession at the Italian track.

“I do not know what to say because this kind of run has never happened to me before,” Rea said. “The key to the weekend was working hard to make sure we had a package we could fight with.”

Race one was stopped after nine of 19 scheduled laps when David Salom crashed. Full points were awarded following a six-lap sprint. Gridded third for the restart, Rea capitalized on a mistake by the leader, his factory Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes, to win by 0.482 seconds.

“I was a little bit worried,” series points-leader Rea said, “because we were not really set up to be so strong in the beginning of the race.” Rea led race two from start to finish. “When the gap got to one second, I thought, ‘Keep going and no mistakes.’”

Sykes leaves Imola with a pair of seconds, a new race lap record, and third overall in the championship. “In the end,” he said, “I just had to accept that this was our limit today. The good thing is we have improved from previous events and addressed some of our limitations.”

Pirelli Imola Infographic

World Superbike spec-tire provider Pirelli brought more than 4500 tires to Imola, with five fronts and six rears across all weather conditions.

Pirelli debuted a new rear tire, the T0611, at Imola. “Our primary goal was to verify the quality of the soft-compound standard SC0 development solution,” Pirelli Moto Racing Director Giorgio Barbier said. “The fact that it was chosen by three-quarters of the riders on the grid is a good sign.” Those riders included 10 of the top 12 qualifiers, including Rea and Sykes.

Superpole-winner Davide Giugliano, returning from a back injury suffered in preseason testing, was third in race one after getting the holeshot and leading eight laps. He finished fourth in race two.

“I’m really pleased with the podium, which on a personal level is like a win for me,” Giugliano said. “After the first ‘heat,’ I was already tired, and the second part of the race was extremely difficult. I couldn’t have done any more.

“I was undecided as to whether to do race two—the first race really wore me out—but thanks to the Clinica Mobile’s help and support of all the fans, I was able to complete race two in fourth place.”

Aprilia-mounted Jordi Torres earned the final podium spot in race two. “After practice on Friday, I thought this was a difficult track,” he said. “In race one, I had problems with the gearbox and had to withdraw. The guys did a great job fixing my bike for race two, and this third place goes to them.”

Giugliano’s teammate, Chaz Davies, had a forgettable weekend with two mechanical failures while fighting for podium finishes. “A disastrous day for us,” he said. “We were in a position to be able to complete two good races here today, and instead, we go home with nothing.”

“Two technical stops for Davies are extremely costly at this point of the season,” Ducati Superbike Project Director Ernesto Marinelli said. “We need to analyze exactly what happened to prevent it from happening in the future. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we prepare for Donington.”

Where was the reigning world champion, Sylvain Guintoli? In race one, the Frenchman finished fifth, tying his best result on the Pata Honda, but he crashed out of race two. His teammate, Michael van den Mark, also fell, as did Aprilia’s Leon Haslam, who remains second overall in points after finishing fourth in race one.

Kawasaki PJ Jacobsen Imola World Supersport

Fourth in Italy and second overall in the championship chase, New Yorker PJ Jacobsen is seeking his first World Supersport victory.

In World Supersport, Kawasaki-mounted Kenan Sofuoglu came out on top of a great battle with Jules Cluzel, whose MV Agusta teammate, Lorenzo Zanetti, was third. American PJ Jacobsen finished fourth on another Kawasaki and is second overall in championship points. Former AMA Daytona SportBike Champion Martin Cardenas was ninth on a Honda.

Of the 10 races run thus far, Rea has won eight and finished second twice. He has an 87-point championship advantage with eight rounds to go. Cycle World Technical Editor Kevin Cameron summed up the Brit’s performance. “All those years during which Jonathan Rea swung two bats seem to be coming good now.”

SBK Kawasaki Jonathan Rea Imola action

“It has been incredible this weekend,” Imola double SBK race-winner Jonathan Rea said. “I am just enjoying the moment.”

SBK Kawasaki Tom Sykes Imola action

“We improved some small things this weekend,” Tom Sykes (66) said, “but small things at this level make an incredible difference. To take the wins would have been better, but I am happy.”

SBK Ducati Davide Giugliano Imola action

“We have a high-performing bike,” Davide Giugliano said. “Once I’m back to full fitness, I know we’ll be competitive. Today’s races were not at all easy.”

Aprilia WSB Jordi Torres Imola

“On a new track, we did a great job,” Jordi Torres said. “I think that on tracks we know we’ll be able to confirm our progress.”

SBK Pata Honda Silvain Guintoli Imola action

“Race one was much better than we expected,” Sylvain Guintoli said, “and I was able to race hard and get up to fifth from 15th on the grid. The bike felt better than it had done all weekend.”

WSB Ducati Chaz Davies Imola head shot

“Once the second race got underway,” Chaz Davies said, “I knew something was wrong almost right away. I was using the second bike and had to press a couple buttons to change the setting. After that, the bike seemed a bit smoother. Then I realized there was a little oil leak. I tried to be careful, but it wasn’t possible to finish the race.”

WSB Suzuki Randy DePuniet Imola

“I’m very disappointed,” Randy de Puniet said. “We are still struggling to find the correct base setting for the electronics system and it has now affected three race weekends.”

Kawasaki PJ Jacobsen Imola World Supersport

Fourth in Italy and second overall in the championship chase, New Yorker PJ Jacobsen is seeking his first World Supersport victory.

Pirelli Imola Infographic

World Superbike spec-tire provider Pirelli brought more than 4500 tires to Imola, with five fronts and six rears across all weather conditions.

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