Jonathan Rea hindered by 'embarrassing' disadvantage at Navarra
Jonathan Rea described the disadvantage he faces against the Ducati on the main straight at Navarra as ‘embarrassing’ as the six-time World Superbike champion again finished as the runner-up in race two.
Rea fought it out with Scott Redding in the 10-lap Superpole sprint race on Sunday and closed right onto the rear of the Aruba.it Ducati on the last two laps, but the Kawasaki rider was a helpless spectator as Redding powered out of the final corner and used the speed of the V4 Panigale to stretch away on the blast to the line.
A frustrated Rea, who was six tenths in arrears, still managed to extend his championship lead by a further two points to go nine clear from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha), who repeated his result from Saturday’s race as he finalised the podium in third ahead of team-mate Andrea Locatelli.
Rea said: “I enjoyed it, I tried – my bike was a lot better today and even at the end of the race I felt like I had a little bit more than Scott.
“The start straight – I don’t need to say nothing, it’s embarrassing. I’m feeling so good around the track with the bike now, entering the corner was the same, but just down this long straight we lose too much.
“But we have a lot of positives to take away from that race and hopefully we can work on the mapping for that last corner for the second race and see if I can get a little bit more, but definitely a step from yesterday, so I’m happy with that.”
The Northern Ireland rider, who equalled Ben Spies’ 2009 record of seven straight pole position starts this season on Saturday, took his turn to lead the race on the opening laps, with Redding and Razgatlioglu also trading places at the front before the Ducati man forged ahead and opened a slight gap.
Rea soon consolidated second place ahead of Razgatlioglu but could do no better than second, despite rallying at the finish.
Redding, who will switch to the factory BMW Motorrad team for 2022, has now won three World Superbike races in a row for the first time, with the 28-year-old victorious in the final race at Most in the Czech Republic before chalking up a double at Navarra in Spain, which is a new venue on the calendar this year.
The Briton remains third in the standings, 42 points behind Rea ahead of race two on Sunday (13:00 BST).
Rea’s Kawasaki team-mate Alex Lowes and Tom Sykes, who has lost his ride in Shaun Muir’s BMW squad next year following the signing of Redding, took sixth on the M1000RR, 6.3 down on the winner.