IMOLA, Italy – Sunday was twice as nice for World Superbike championship leader Jonathan Rea.
Rea, a member of the Pata Honda team, won a pair of races at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari over Welshman Chaz Davies. He wrestled the points lead away from Tom Sykes in the process.
The two victories made it three in a row for the Englishman.
Rea immediately took the lead in race one ahead of the Aprilia Racing duo of Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli. Davies, Ducati’s top racer, moved up to second at the end of lap one.
By half distance Rea had moved clear of the chasing pack by two seconds. Behind the leader a four-rider fight involving Davies, Sykes, Guintoli, Loris Baz and Davide Giugliano took shape.
Giugliano slid out of contention on the twelfth lap when the Italian’s front end of his Ducati went away from him.
At the flag and after 19 laps it was Rea ahead of Davies and Sykes.
In the EVO battle, Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) came out on top, finishing comfortably ahead of David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Luca Scassa (Team Pedercini Kawasaki). Ivan Goi (Barni Racing Team) and Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) crashed without injury.
Rea once again made the best start in race two, but unlike race one, Guintoli and Giugliano made equally impressive starts to ensure that they were in contention.
The race two pace was a lot higher than the earlier encounter as Rea lapped at almost lap record pace on his first flying lap.
Reigning champion Tom Sykes started slowly but was up to fourth after displacing Marco Melandri.
As the race progressed and with Rea out in front by over 5 seconds, Davies and Guintoli together with Sykes and his fellow Kawasaki rider Baz, were involved in an intense battle which raged until the final lap.
At the flag Rea took his second victory ahead of Davies, who clung on to his second podium of the day and Guintoli, who fought hard to finish third.
Loris Baz got the better of his team mate Tom Sykes to claim fourth, with Davide Giugliano putting the disappointment of his race one crash behind him with a solid sixth.
Niccolo Canepa had a technical failure in the closing laps as it looked certain that he was heading to the best classified award in the EVO category. His retirement handed that accolade once again to Leon Camier.