Yes, Jonathan Rea did it…The three times World Superbike Champion had to fight hard against Michael van der Mark, but finally he secured his fourth win in a row and his 10th one in 2018. Furthermore, this represents his 64th first-place finish in World Superbike and now the gap between him and Chaz Davies (4th) in championship standings amounts to 92 points, as the Northern Irish has 370 points against Davies’ 278.
At the beginning Xavi Forés had a great start on his Barni Racing Ducati, but at the second lap he was forced to retire due to technical issues. This gave first position to Michael van der Mark, who started from pole position after being 4th in Race 1, and while the Dutchman led the race, Rea recovered little by little after starting from third row and at the ninth of 21 laps he overtook Marco Melandri to secure second position.
Rea, Melandri, Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes remained very close for a couple of laps, before separating each other as Rea tried to close the gap between him and van der Mark. The Northern Irish came closer to van der Mark till a particular situation: Rea came closer in the first and fourth sector, but then the Dutch managed to be faster in the other two and this prevented the reigning World Champion from going first and also helped Marco Melandri in joining the front duo.
This lasted till the third-last lap, when Rea managed to overtake van der Mark at Variante del Parco. “Magic Michael” and Melandri remained close to Rea, but finally they could just finish behind him, as he managed to win and to score another double in this incredible 2018 season. Davies and Sykes finished in lonely fourth and fifth place, while Alex Lowes, Lorenzo Savadori, Eugene Laverty (3rd in Race 1), Loris Baz and Leon Camier closed the top 10.
Photo Credit: Marco Lanfranchi