Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea put on another masterclass of consistent laptimes to take victory in the opening Misano race today, crossing the line with a three-second gap over Chaz Davies with Eugene Laverty in third.
Rea took the lead from poleman Tom Sykes on lap one and was never again headed and it didn’t take Milwaukee Aprilia’s Laverty to follow him through but the Irishman made an error late on which allowed Davies to snaffle second from his something-in-law.
After taking the lead Rea opened up a gap of 0.3 seconds on lap one over Sykes who was to gradually drop back and finish fifth.
Davies, on the Aruba Ducati, chased hard for a podium place and was rewarded with second when Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) ran wide after a sensor problem and lost his chance of a stand-alone season best result. With Davies sweeping through to second, 2.791 seconds behind Rea, Laverty was finally 3.7 seconds from his first win for his current team.
In fourth place, lowly starter Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) worked his way forward and was the last rider to get ahead of Sykes.
Sykes was finally 6.713 seconds behind Rea, but well ahead of sixth placed rider, and top independent, Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati).
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda) finished in a loose group, from seventh to ninth. The top ten was completed by Leandro Mercado (Orelac Kawasaki), after riders such as Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha ) and Loris Baz (Gulf BMW) fell – Lowes twice. Jordi Torres (MV Agusta) was also an eventual non-finisher.
Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda) was 14th and PJ Jacobsen (Triple M Honda) 16th.
In the championship, with one more Misano race on Sunday before the start of the summer break, Rea has 345 points, Davies 265, VDM 228 and Sykes 207.