Even if he rued falling and then remounting for only fifth place in the short Tissot Superpole race at Misano, Jonathan Rea more than made up for it in a battling final race.
It was not Alvaro Bautista he had to beat to score his fourth win of 2019, it was the Turkish Puccetti rider Toprak Razgatlioglu who led for most of a race that was dominated finally – and remarkably - by three Kawasaki riders.
Amazing of course, but at Sugo in 1993, the second race featured all Kawasaki riders from first to fourth, but it was still an amazing feat in 2019 to cram three Ninjas on the same podium. Leon Haslam (KRT) finished third for the second time in two races with his final race 16-pointer.
“It was just my mistake in the short race because I was riding over my head to stay with Alvaro. He was just gaining so much from the exit of turn six to eight, and also ten, and the exit of the last corner,” Rea told bikesportnews.com.
The only way we could make up time was in the corners. But I had accepted that second was our place but because I was riding on the limit, that just felt normal. I have to take it on the chin because it was stupid mistake.”
But Rea more than made amends winning race two, especially as Bautista fell and remounted to score only two points for 14th.
“Fortunately for me I was able to bounce back and to win race two… I was a little bit down after the sprint because it is never nice to throw away a race because of a mistake of your own, but it is a nice way to repay the guys.”
And get to within 16 points of Bautista, after being over 40 back at the start of the weekend, was not bad either.
Rea praised his young fellow Kawasaki rider Razgatlioglu, as well he might, because he also looked race winning material for much of the final Misano fight.
Toprak had incredible pace but I could also see that he was struggling a little bit with the front. So inside my brain one was the devil and one was the angel. One saying, “‘Go because these extra five points are important and the other was saying, ‘20 is enough, don’t go down’.
“I was just putting the last sector together and I was able to go inside on one, a little bit too fast, but I managed to block that inside into two and from there just tried to hit my apexes on the last two laps.”
Rea was quizzed on the championship lead, saying, “Same story as always - the championship is long. After riding with Alvaro in the Superpole race, it is super-difficult to compete with this package right now. So the best we can do is to do our best every weekend get the maximum from our ZX-10RR.
“It was a super-nice day for Kawasaki because we put three bikes on the podium. Team Suzuka!” said Rea, referring to the fact that he, Haslam and Razgatlioglu will compete on the same official Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka Eight-Hours bike in the biggest endurance race of all soon.
Asked about why he generally takes his chances but Alvaro has now lost two successive winning race rides by falling in the lead, Rea said, “I do not want to put shit on other riders. It is unfortunate for him. But he is not invincible, it looks.
“Of course it is always costly when you make the mistake, and I picked up the pieces. I never won the race, it was not a dominant race win. The strongest guy was in the gravel, like Jerez race two. Two weekends in a row, when we think it is completely out of our hands, we are kind of back in the mix a little bit. I will just keep worrying about what I am doing.”