World Superbikes: Jonathan Rea fifth after crash as Alvaro Bautista clinches 14th victory of season
Jonathan Rea suffered an uncharacteristic crash in Sunday’s Superpole race at Misano as World Superbike title leader Alvaro Bautista chalked up his 14th victory of the season.
Rea had won Saturday’s wet opening race at the Italian circuit to slash Spaniard Bautista’s advantage to 32 points, but the Ulsterman has now fallen a further seven points behind in his bid to win the world title for a record fifth time.
On a dry track, the Kawasaki rider had been holding second place with two-and-a-half laps to go when he slid off at turn 10. Rea somehow held onto his machine after a low-speed somersault and managed to re-join the race in sixth position.
He gained a position when Sandro Cortese slid off the GRT Yamaha with a maiden World Superbike podium within his grasp. There was further drama in the closing stages when Tom Sykes broke down on the factory BMW, denying the English rider a second successive rostrum finish after he took third in Saturday’s race.
Alex Lowes, who crashed out of the lead in race one, finally had some better luck as the Pata Yamaha rider took second place, while Rea’s team-mate, Leon Haslam, was promoted to third as the current British Superbike champion earned his first World Superbike podium of the campaign.
Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu finished fourth on the Puccetti Kawasaki ahead of Rea, with the first six completed by Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha).
Bautista will now line up on pole on the Aruba.it Ducati for the second race (13:00 BST).