Jonathan Rea spent most of last night ‘hugging the toilet’ and looked like Beetlejuice on today’s WorldSBK grid in Argentina but it didn’t stop the four-time champ from taking his tenth win in a row and setting a new record for successive wins.
Rea started the race from eighth on the grid after Loris Baz was docked three places for cocking about in warm-up. The Irishman then commenced his usual scythe through the pack to take the lead from Xavi Fores before clearing off into the distance, winning by more than three seconds after some celebratory stand-up wheelies on the last lap.
The Kawasaki man has now taken his 16th race win of the season which takes him to just one victory from equalling the all-time record for wins in a single season, currently held by Doug Polen on 17. He has also equalled Carl Fogarty’s record of 55 wins with one manufacturer.
With Fores second, and now the Independent Rider’s Champion as well, Marco Melandri (Aruba Ducati) took his second podium of the weekend, in third place.
Team mate Chaz Davies was fourth, and a recovering Tom Sykes clawed his way back up to fifth after he had been ninth early on. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) was sixth.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was in third for some time, getting clear of some outstanding battles in the podium places behind Fores in the first half of the race. He was to slow and finish seventh.
Eventual lone Aprilia rider Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) placed eighth. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) and Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda) completed the top ten.
Loris Baz (Althea BMW) won a sometimes harsh fight with local rider Leandro Mercado (Orelac Kawasaki) for 11th.
Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) crashed out in a race with only 14 finishers. Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was also a non-finisher today.
In the points, Rea has 520, Davies 348, Van der Mark 324 and Sykes 294.