BRNO, Czech Republic – Jonathan Rea became the winningest rider in World Superbike history on Saturday at the Brno Circuit by notching the 60th victory of his career.
The Kawasaki rider’s sixth victory of the year pulled him clear of legendary Carl Fogarty, who earned 59 victories during his illustrious career.
Rea overtook teammate Tom Sykes at the start, but crashes by Jordi Torres and Michael Ruben Rinaldi forced a red flag and race restart – twice, due to technical issues on the grid.
With the race length now down to 16 laps after two stoppages, Sykes defended his position into turn one, but Rea was in front a couple of turns later, keeping Sykes behind and jetting off.
The Northern Irishman was also helped by the action behind, with Marco Melandri and Alex Lowes putting Sykes under pressure. Michael van der Mark also joined the fray, swapping positions several times with his teammate.
Rea went untroubled from this point forward, leading a composed ride to the finish line. He was the only rider managing laps times under two minutes, keeping a four to five second gap over his closest pursuers. The defending champion has now opened an 81-point gap over Chaz Davies in the series standings. Davies struggled to finish the race in eighth and saw his championship pursuit become even tougher.
Behind Rea, Melandri finally got the best of Sykes on lap four, taking his best result since the opening round of the season in second. Sykes crossed the line in third, two seconds off the Italian. Van der Mark beat his Pata Yamaha teammate Lowes for fourth place.