World Superbikes: Rea battles to fourth in Superpole race

Jonathan Rea is the only rider to win four four straight World Superbike titles
Rea was relegated to the back of the grid for the Superpole race but made up 15 positions

Jonathan Rea came from the back of the grid to finish fourth in the World Superbike Superpole race at Jerez.

The four-time champion was stripped of his podium position and relegated to the back of the grid for the sprint race after last-corner contact with Alex Lowes in race one.

Ducati's Alvaro Bautista made it 13 wins this season with another commanding ride.

Rea will now start from fourth for the 20-lap race later on Sunday.

Yamaha's Michael van der Mark was second, with Marco Melandri taking his second rostrum of the weekend.

The Northern Irishman managed to work his way up to ninth position inside two laps, making decisive moves through the field from his 19th place start.

Alvaro Bautista took the lead on lap one and romped home to win by 15 seconds.

Alvaro Bautista has increased his lead at the top of the championship standings
Alvaro Bautista has increased his lead at the top of the championship standings to 61 points

Rea made a fantastic double move on Jordi Torres and Toprak Razgatlioglu on lap four, with Lowes crashing out later that lap to gift the County Antrim man another place.

His Kawasaki team-mate Haslam and BMW's Tom Sykes were dispatched on the following lap as Rea found himself in fourth at the midway point of the race, but he ran out of time to bridge the gap to the podium runners.

"After what happened on Saturday it's a really satisfactory result," Rea told Eurosport.

"I've racing instinct and the incident yesterday took something away a little bit. I've got to build that up again and get back to the old Jonathan Rea."

Fellow Northern Ireland rider Eugene Laverty missed the Jerez round of the championship due to wrist injuries sustained after crashing in practice at Imola.

His replacement Tommy Bridewell finished 12th in the sprint race.

2019 WSB Riders' Championship
Alvaro Bautista (Spa)Ducati300 pts
Jonathan Rea (Gbr)Kawasaki239
Michael van der Mark (Ned)Yamaha163
Alex Lowes (Ned)Yamaha140
Leon Haslam (Gbr)Kawasaki119
Marco Melandri (Ita)Yamaha102