MISANO ADRIATICO, Italy – Jonathan Rea romped to a dominant victory in wet conditions during Saturday’s World Superbike race at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Rain forced a nearly 25-minute delay in the start of the event, but the race finally got underway with Alex Lowes leading Rea, Tom Sykes and Alvaro Bautista leading the field.
The riders only got two laps in before the rain intensified, forcing another red flag period. The race resumed with a shortened 18-lap distance, with Rea getting a great start to take the lead from Lowes, followed by Sykes, Chaz Davies and Bautista.
Conditions began to deteriorate and soon, riders began to drop back, with some eventually dropping out. Lowes began to close on Rea and at turn eight with 12 laps left he took the top spot.
With 10 laps left Lowes crashed while leading in turn 12, handing the top spot to Kawasaki’s Rea. Behind Rea, Michele Pirro crashed at the same corner. Sykes was now second, Leon Haslam was third, with Davies and Bautista behind.
The crashes kept coming, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi crashing at turn 13 and Leon Haslam going down in turn eight.
By then Davies was up to third, but a small error allowed Bautista through, whilst Loris Baz was now fifth and Alessandro Delbianco was up to sixth.
A small error from Davies allowed Bautista through into third, whilst Baz eventually closed down on Davies to get fourth. Baz soon hunted down Bautista, though he was not close enough to make the pass.
Out front, it was Rea who took the win, his 74th win and 10 years and one day after his first at the same track. Sykes gave BMW their first podium since 2013 at Jerez and Bautista salvaged a podium after an eventful race.