World Superbikes: Dominant Jonathan Rea completes Misano win double

Jonathan Rea raced to a second consecutive World Superbike double
Jonathan Rea raced to a second consecutive World Superbike double

Three-time champion Jonathan Rea continued his dominance of the World Superbike series by completing a weekend win double at Misano on Sunday.

Because of the reverse grid system, Rea was forced to work his way through the field, eventually overhauling long-time leader, Dutchman Michael van der Mark.

Rea, 31, now leads Chaz Davies by 92 points at the top of the standings.

The Kawasaki rider has taken three double triumphs this season and two during his career at the Misano course.

Rea went into race two with confidence after winning race one from Welshman Davies on Saturday, but faced a challenge to repeat that success as he started from ninth place on the grid.

Spaniard Xavi Fores was the early leader but after he retired with a mechanical problem, Yamaha rider van der Mark assumed the lead.

Rea ultimately got the better of van der Mark by 0.334 seconds, with Italian Marco Melandri in close attendance in third on his Ducati.

Davies, Tom Sykes and Alex Lowes completed the top six, with Eugene Laverty eighth.

After the race, winner Rea dedicated his victory to the memory of his compatriot William Dunlop, who lost his life in an incident at the Skerries 100 on Saturday.

"I wanted to win this race so much as a tribute to William Dunlop. I can't imagine what his family are going through and my thoughts are with them," said the Northern Irishman.

"That race was super hard - I emptied the tank for that one. The bike was pretty good but the bikes were fairly evenly matched and it was hard to make the passes.

"I woke up this morning with neck spasms so thanks to the physios who helped sort that out for me," he added.

Rea has now won 10 of the 18 races over nine rounds of this year's championship, including doubles in consecutive rounds at Laguna Seca and Misano.

He boasts six victories around the Italian circuit but the series now takes a break of more than two months until the next round in Portugal in mid-September.

The Isle of Man-based rider is aiming for a fourth consecutive world title to equal Englishman Carl Fogarty's record tally.

Rea now has 64 wins in the championship and joins Troy Bayliss as the most successful World Superbike rider ever at Misano.

His previous double at Misano came in 2016.

2018 WSB Riders' Championship
Jonathan Rea (GB)Kawasaki370 pts
Chaz Davies (GB)Ducati278
Michael van der Mark (Ned)Yamaha248
Tom Sykes (GB)Kawasaki218
Marco Melandri (Ita)Ducati193
Alex Lowes (Gbr)Yamaha193