Rea finishes behind Bautista in Misano
Jonathan Rea gets a second position in the opening race of the weekend, but he missed the podium in the second at Misano.
When the World Superbike Championship riders arrived at the Italian circuit of Misano Marco Simoncelli, they were met with temperatures that increased as the day progressed. Almost all of them were able to improve their times already in the second free practice sessions, when the sun bathed the asphalt, after the heavy rains that fell the day before.
Precisely, Jonathan Rea took advantage of FP2 to record the best lap time just 0.126 seconds behind the fastest rider on Friday, Álvaro Bautista. Alex Lowes, for his part, finished in seventh position, 0.698 seconds behind the leader. The Briton worked with his team on the race configuration, taking as a reference the one that worked for him during the previous round, in Estoril.
Saturday dawned sunny and hot in Misano. These weather conditions played a major role in qualifying, with Rea finishing third and his team-mate Lowes a more than deserved fourth. Álvaro Bautista won the Superpole, and Toprak Razgatlioglu, with the silver medal.
In the opening race from Misano, Rea rode with determination from the start. The Northern Irishman managed to pass both Razgatlioglu and Bautista on lap three, holding the lead for no less than ten laps. The frenetic pace in the last laps of the eventual winner Álvaro Bautista forced Rea to settle for a very good second position.
Lowes fell a bit behind after a good start of the race. The focus and determination he showed helped him to strongly regain track position and he finished fifth, which translates to his best finish in a maiden race this season.
Sunday was not the best day for Rea, making it the second time in the entire season that he did not get on the podium. The Northern Irishman finished the race fourth, behind winner Álvaro Bautista, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Italian Michael Ruben Rinaldi. In the Superpole Race he did achieve third place, although fighting to the end with a fantastic Xavi Vierge.
Later in the race, Rea did not have the best of starts, but he recovered as the laps went by. A new guest joined the party this time, when Rinaldi overtook Jonathan. While Bautista waited for the right moment to overtake the Turkish Razgatlioglu, Rea began to drop further and further from the leading group, moving away from Rinaldi.
The emotion was also in the fifth position, with Iker Lecuona trying to retain Bassani, Lowes and Locatelli. Finally, there was a Long Lap Penalty for Lowes for stepping too many times off the track, which delayed him to eighth position. Rea got the fourth position, which is not bad at all, but this will surely make him reach the next round in the United Kingdom with more desire than ever.