Tuesday 25 April 2017

Rea opens up 30-point lead in Superbike World Championship after Thailand double

Jonathan Rea has opened up a 30-point lead at the top of the Superbike World Championship
Jonathan Rea has opened up a 30-point lead at the top of the Superbike World Championship

Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea opened up a 30-point lead in the Superbike World Championship after continuing his perfect start to the season in Thailand.

Rea's second victory in Buriram on Sunday - after coming home fastest in race one on Saturday - means he has won all four races so far in 2017 after also recording a Phillip Island double in February.

The 30-year-old Kawasaki rider is the first man to win the opening four races of the season since England's Neil Hodgson in 2003.

Rea's victory was even more impressive as he started ninth on the grid because of the new reverse positions rules introduced for World Superbikes in 2017.

He made his way to the front before the race was red-flagged when Aprilia rider Lorenzo Savadori crashed out, depositing oil and debris from his machine.

Rea was back on pole for the 16-lap restart and he pulled away in impressive fashion to register the 42nd Superbikes triumph of his career.

England's Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) finished just over four seconds behind as he edged out Marco Melandri (Ducati) for second spot on the final corner.

Alex Lowes, Jordi Torres and Welshman Chaz Davies, who slid off in the original race, completed the top six.

Davies is Rea's nearest challenger in the standings, but the 30-point gap already appears quite substantial ahead of the third round in Aragon between March 31 and April 2.

Press Association

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