JEREZ, Spain — Recently crowned Motul FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea won Saturday’s Spanish round at Jerez, his first victory at the renowned circuit.
Rea took advantage of late-race technical issue for Marco Melandri’s leading Ducati.
Chaz Davies finished second for Ducati with Rea’s Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes filling out the podium.
On his way to equaling Carl Fogarty’s career podium record of 109 rostrum results in WorldSBK Rea took over at the front after Melandri pulled off with a problem with four laps to go.
Rea had taken control of the restarted race in the early stages and led for several laps before Melandri made a move with 13 laps to go at turn 9 up the inside of the Northern Irishman. Davies then followed Melandri through to overtake Rea, but Rea soon responded to retake the Welshman and slot back in behind the Italian.
As Melandri chased his second race win in 2017, since his return to WorldSBK at the start of the year, cruel luck saw him pull off towards the end of the race, leaving Rea to take the glory. Sykes produced a solid ride in third place as he continues to recover from wrist and finger injuries sustained in Portugal in September, with Davies crossing the line just under 0.5s ahead of him in second.
It was another strong performance from Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) as he collected more good points on the Yamaha YZF R1, crossing the line fourth, 3.677s ahead of his teammate Michael van der Mark who was fifth.
2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli’s return to action on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR saw him finish a creditable sixth, in the first of four races he will ride for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at the final two rounds of the season.