Donington WSBK: Rea wins Superpole race, Redding comes last
Jonathan Rea scored his fifth victory of the World Superbike season in tricky conditions at Donington Park, as Scott Redding finished last in another disastrous outing at the British track.
Unlike in Saturday's opening race, where the track was dry enough to make slicks an obvious choice, conditions were damp enough ahead of Sunday morning's 10-lap Superpole race to make tyre selection a headache.
Most riders opted for intermediate tyres front and rear, but a few gambled on wets, including Ducati man Redding, which soon proved to be the wrong choice on a rapidly-drying circuit.
Poleman Rea led away at the start, with teammate Alex Lowes soon making it a one-two for Kawasaki after passing the BMWs of Michael van der Mark and Tom Sykes in the early stages.
That was short-lived however as Lowes crashed on the second lap exiting Old Hairpin, giving Rea a comfortable buffer over the battling BMW riders behind.
The reigning champion was almost three seconds to the good by the time Donington expert Sykes repassed van der Mark for second at Goddards at the end of the sixth lap.
And while Sykes was able to make some inroads thereafter, Rea hung on by 2.5s seconds at the finish for his third Superpole race of the season.
It was nonetheless a first podium finish since rejoining the championship for BMW, with van der Mark making it a double rostrum for the German manufacturer in third place.
Leon Haslam matched his best result since joining Honda last year in fourth, keeping the GRT Yamaha of Garrett Gerloff behind him for most of the race.
Saturday winner Toprak Razgatlioglu couldn't quite replicate his Race 1 magic, but still made up ground from 13th on the grid on the Yamaha to finish in sixth after a late pass on Lucas Mahias (Puccetti Kawasaki).
Chaz Davies (Go Eleven Ducati), the second factory Yamaha of Andrea Locatelli and the leading works Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi completed the top 10, with Rinaldi using one wet tyre and one intermediate.
Teammate Redding on the other hand rapidly sunk down the order using wets front and rear, plummeting from sixth to 13th on the opening tour before falling to 17th next time by.
The ex-MotoGP rider finished almost a minute-and-a-half down on Rea in 18th and last at the finish, three places behind Lowes, who remounted after his crash to finish 14th.
Rea now leads the standings by 23 points from Razgatlioglu, with Redding a massive 77 adrift ahead of the weekend's final race.
|3||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||10||3.409|
|10||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||10||24.865|
|View full results|
Donington WSBK: Razgatlioglu takes sensational win from 13th
Donington WSBK: Razgatlioglu wins again as Rea crashes
Honda is poised to continue with both Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge for a second season in the World Superbike Championship in 2023, with the team ruling out freeing up a space to accommodate MotoGP rider Takaaki Nakagami.
Scott Redding says he won't be afraid to ride aggressively against this year's World Superbike title contenders for the rest of the season after a particularly tough battle against Toprak Razgatlioglu at Most.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi had dismissed suggestions he could be in danger of losing his Ducati World Superbike ride to ex-MotoGP racer Danilo Petrucci next year.
Tom Sykes is eyeing a return to the World Superbike Championship next year and the Puccetti Kawasaki team could emerge as the most likely destination for the 2013 title winner.