Jonathan Rea (KRT) scored a second place finish in the last race today in Spain, after he had battled through to fourth in the earlier Tissot-Superpole Race. Leon Haslam was sixth and then fifth today, scoring valuable points.
Rea, having to start the ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race from the back of the grid after suffering a double penalty on Saturday, worked his way through the pack at speed. He finished fourth despite having the same pace as the leading riders. Haslam was eventually sixth after starting the race from fifth place on the grid, after changes to his machine’s set-up from Saturday.
The planned second full distance race of the weekend was a dramatic finale to complement the hot on-track action in Spain. Race leader Alvaro Bautista fell while leading and Rea took over his top spot, only relinquishing it to eventual race winner Michael van der Mark. The race was called to a halt after 18-laps, due to the after effects of a crash.
Rea was particularly keen to win the final race today to make up the maximum points possible on his championship rival Bautista. Jonathan did not quite have an optimal set-up for the second half of the race, but 20 points to Bautista’s zero means he leaves Spain 41 behind in the championship fight, and still in a clear second place overall.
Haslam found his bike better under braking in the final race of the Jerez weekend, but less so entering corners, meaning that he had to work hard to finish fifth in the race and remain in fifth place overall.
In the championship standings Bautista has 300, Rea 259, Van Der Mark 188, Alex Lowes 142 and Haslam 130.
Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli will host the seventh round of the championship, between 21 and 23 June.
Jonathan Rea: “In the final race I did not have the pace of Mikey. I need to check the times but we definitely made a step with the bike set-up from yesterday afternoon to today, especially with the front end feeling in the faster corners. But over the lap there were some areas where I was very close, or even better than Michael, but in one crucial area I just lost too much. It is something we have been working on all weekend and today the bike was better. I needed a clean day today to finish both races strongly. This morning’s race took a lot out of me mentally and physically – coming from the back of the grid to try and make up all those positions in a short space of time. I am looking forward to Misano now.”
Leon Haslam: “Every session we were struggling with the front traction and we ran a bit more angle and corner speed compared to some of the other Kawasaki riders and I think that has been hindering me, especially as the temperatures have risen. I have tried to adapt my style and played around a little bit with set-up. I felt in that final race of the weekend I had good pace and could have challenged for that third place but I get stuck behind Tom for too many laps. Then when I got past him I was pushing too hard, like I was before, making too many mistakes. I was just lining Rinaldi up when the red flags came out. Another fifth place, so obviously I am not too happy about the result, but we have managed a lot of problems here this weekend.”