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Jonathan Rea at the 2017 World Superbike Spanish round
NEWS

Jerez blasted by the 2017 WorldSBK ‘Rea-Dar’ & first Double

Oct 222017

Just to stamp a little more authority on a 2017 WorldSBK FIM World Championship winning campaign, Kawasaki Factory Racing’s Jonathan Rea not only grasped his first victory at the Jerez circuit in the south of Spain but rode to his fifth double of the season. The famous Andalucía course staged the twelfth and penultimate round of the year and saw a relaxed triple world champ in mean form as Rea bagged two more chequered flags to take his ’17 haul to 14 from 24 and 22 podium appearances.

Typically sunny and bright conditions splashed WorldSBK for their last ‘daylight’ outing of the term and before the customary closer under the lights of Losail, Qatar in two weeks time. Rea came to the short and slick venue without a shiny track record. The 30 year old had excelled with testing speed at Jerez but was still short of spoils when it comes to podium-topping champagne.

On Saturday he made the most of a technical problem with Marco Melandri’s Ducati to defeat main rival Chaz Davies by a second at the finish line. Some technical changes saw JR running a more competitive package on Sunday and despite the reversed grid format that pushed him to the third row was soon in control and making a comfortable gap by the third lap. Rea, who toasted his third consecutive title at the previous round in France, also helped KRT to the Team and Manufacturer’s titles. “Everyone has made this result and I am super-proud to be a part of it,” JR said, and who also set a new lap record in his dash free. “My mechanics were building me up right before I left the grid and I knew today I had to go. I feel like I steered the bike around today. The win came from my crew chief Pere Riba because he asked me to trust him with some front geometry changes and a front tyre change. It was awesome.”

 

“So, so nice to tick that box for a Jerez race win,” he added after Saturday’s success. “I really wanted it, even before the problem for Marco. I was riding way over my limit to try to chase Marco down. The gap was slowly coming, some laps not changing, but tenth by tenth I was getting excited. With the position we now have in the championship I went in over my head - but it was fun to ride like this.”

Tom Sykes, who set the fastest ever Pole lap of Jerez last year, has reason to regard Jerez as a milestone after reaching a total of 100 rostrum finishes with third place on Saturday. The 2013 champion is still dealing with the recovery to his hand and finger after his fiery crash in Portugal and was fifth on Sunday. He is tied on points with Chaz Davies for second place in the standings and an exciting finale in the Persian Gulf awaits.

 

Yamaha’s Alex Lowes snared two top five results at Jerez and is close to confirming fifth place for 2017 over teammate Michael Van Der Mark.

 

Qatar pulls the curtain on 2017 WorldSBK on November 3-4.

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