American Nicky Hayden avenges race-one crash with sixth-place finish on Sunday.
Reigning Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea followed Kawasaki crew chief Pere Riba’s advice on Sunday at Misano to win race two, equaling his performance on Saturday in race one.
Rea and teammate Tom Sykes wasted no time in the cooler track conditions, pulling away from the 24-rider field and opening a nearly one-second gap on Yamaha-mounted Alex Lowes after just one lap.
Sykes led 16 laps before Rea slipped past and hammered out a low 1-minute, 36-second lap followed by three successive 1:35s, something he was unable to do at the end of Saturday’s race. Margin of victory was 2.963 seconds.
“It is much harder to stay in the front, like I learned yesterday, and I abused my tire a bit too much,” Rea explained. “We had a different strategy today. Pere was telling me on the grid, ‘Don’t go to the front.’ I won because, in the end, I had much more grip.”
With one exception, Ducati’s Chaz Davies, all of the riders opted for Pirelli’s “development” SC0 V0377 rear tire, which debuted three weeks ago at Donington Park and was the most common choice in race one. Davies preferred the SC0 V0375, which was used for the first time yesterday by Rea and Sykes.
In defeat, Sykes focused on the positives from his 200th-career World Superbike race. “We’ve had a decent-enough weekend, with pole and two seconds,” he said. “The only negative is Jonathan beat us, and he’s leading in the championship.
“There is one area of the bike we need to work on, and it really hurts the rear tire. Hopefully, we can improve that tomorrow at the test in preparation for Laguna Seca.” Round nine of the series will be held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on July 8-10.
Davide Giugliano, third, was able to match the lap times of Sykes and Rea, but the Italian was never in contention for the race win. Teammate Davies crashed on the second lap, putting a severe dent in his championship hopes.
“In the middle of the race, I think it is possible to win,” Giugliano said. “But Johnny in the last laps was very fast, and I didn’t have any more tire. This podium is for the family of Pirovano. He is in my heart.”
Fabrizio Pirovano, one of the first riders to compete in the series and a 10-time race winner, as well as the 1998 Supersport world champion, lost his battle with cancer on June 12. He was 56.
American Nicky Hayden spent most of the 21-lap race engaged in a four-rider battle for fourth. He finished sixth. Teammate Michael van der Mark, third on Saturday, was 10th after crashing and rejoining the race.
“I’m not really too thrilled with the weekend,” Hayden admitted. “I made a mistake yesterday and crashed out of third place. And today I didn’t do an amazing race. I didn’t put myself in a great position in the first laps.
“Slowing I started to feel more confident on the front and began pushing. I got into the battle for fifth and picked up a couple of positions in the last laps. If we have some positives, I did my best lap with three laps to go.”
Rea was beaming after the race. “I’ve won here before but never doubled up,” he said. “I promised my dad I would win today, so this one’s for you. Happy Father’s Day.”