World Superbikes: Jonathan Rea remounts to take third after last lap crash

Jonathan Rea was World Superbike champion in 2015 and 2016
Jonathan Rea was World Superbike champion in 2015 and 2016

Jonathan Rea remounted to finish third after he and Chaz Davies crashed on the final lap of the first World Superbike race at Misano while vying for victory.

Yorkshireman Tom Sykes took the win and reduced Rea's title lead to 46 points.

Davies came off two corners from the end while leading, with Rea unable to avoid colliding with the Welshman, who suffered a vertebra fracture.

Dutchman Michael van der Mark led for most of a dramatic race but crashed out with seven laps to go.

Kawasaki rider Sykes was able to take advantage of the misfortunes of his title rivals and was followed home by fellow Englishman Alex Lowes on a Yamaha.

Rea picked up his bike quickly to secure his 100th podium finish in the series at a circuit where he has picked up four wins, including his maiden World Superbike success eight years ago.

The Northern Irishman has won eight races so far this season but a repeat of his double triumph at the Italian circuit 12 months ago is now out of reach.

"I'm sorry that I hit Chaz but I had nowhere to go," said Rea, the defending world champion. "I was thinking about making a move on the last corner but Chaz made a mistake and that was that.

"I feel sorry for Michael too as the pace he was setting was incredible and he should have been standing on the podium."

Italian Marco Melandri was another faller on the last lap on his Ducati, crashing out while third on his home circuit as he gave chase to Davies and Rea in a thrilling battle at the front.

Toomebridge rider clinched a creditable sixth position on his Milwaukee Aprilia.

Race two in the seventh round of the series will take place on Sunday at 12:00 BST, with the next round at Laguna Seca on 8 and 9 July.

2017 WSB Riders' Championship
Jonathan Rea (GB)Kawasaki276 pts
Tom Sykes (GB)Kawasaki230
Chaz Davies (GB)Ducati185
Alex Lowes (GB)Yamaha141
Marco Melandri (It)Ducati138
Xavi Torres (Sp)Ducati110

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