Jonathan Rea underlined his dominance of this year’s World Superbike Championship with a commanding double at Assen in round four of the series.
The Northern Ireland rider was unstoppable as he wrapped up a sizzling brace at the legendary circuit, twice defeating Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
Rea has been on a stunning run of form following his move to the factory Kawasaki team from Honda and has now won six of the first eight races to open up a lead of 50 points in the title standings over nearest challenger Leon Haslam (Red Devils Aprilia), who twice finished fourth on Sunday at Assen.
In race one, Rea and Welshman Davies pulled clear of the chasing pack but the Ulsterman had more in hand in the closing stages of the race, edging away to win by 1.098 seconds while Michael van der Mark gave the home fans plenty to cheer as he made it onto the rostrum in third place on the Pata Honda ahead of Haslam – the first time a Dutch rider had finished in the top three in a World Superbike race.
Rea’s team-mate and pole man Tom Sykes and Jordi Torres on the second of the Red Devils Aprilia machines completed the top six.
In a virtual carbon copy of race one, the second race unfolded in similar circumstances, with Rea finding more on the last lap to put some distance between himself and Davies to complete his second World Superbike double at Assen after he managed the feat in 2010, crossing the line 0.4 seconds ahead of the Aruba.it Ducati rider after 21 laps.
Van der Mark passed Haslam on the final lap to clinch third again, with Sykes and Torres rounding out the first half dozen as the top six remained unchanged from race one.
Rea has now amassed 190 points after the first three rounds with Haslam second on 150 and Davies third with 123 points.
Round four takes place at Imola in Italy on May 10.