Estoril WSBK: Rea wins final race as Redding crashes
Jonathan Rea won the third and final race of the Estoril World Superbike weekend to extend his championship advantage, as Scott Redding crashed shortly after being passed by his rival.
Ducati rider Redding led for the first 14 laps of the 21-lap contest at the former Portuguese Grand Prix venue, but lost the lead to Kawasaki rival Rea at the start of the 15th tour.
Rea managed to complete a pass that he had set up at the end of the preceding lap as Redding ran wide into Turn 3, and as the latter tried to counter-attack on the inside heading into Turn 4 he lost the front end of his Panigale V4 R and ended up in the gravel trap.
That left reigning champion Rea clear to score his fourth win in the first six races of the year, which looked like an unlikely outcome following an eventful opening lap.
As Redding moved into an early lead, Rea - using the standard SC0 rear tyre as he did on his way to victory in the Superpole Race - was pushed down to sixth after being muscled wide by the second Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi at Turn 4 in the fight for second.
Rea's path back to the top was eased however by GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff wiping out Rinaldi on the second lap at Turn 6, and a double long-lap penalty for the factory Yamaha of Toprak Razgatlioglu, who squandered his front row grid slot by jumping the start.
All of that promoted Rea back to second, and he duly closed down the one-second lead that Redding, running on the softer SCX tyre, had built up by around the halfway point of the race.
Following Redding's crash, Rea had to contend with some pressure from the satellite GoEleven Ducati of Chaz Davies, who managed to finish within three seconds of Rea for his first podium of the season.
Razgatlioglu dropped to sixth after serving both of his long-lap penalties, but recovered to third ahead of the second Kawasaki of Alex Lowes and rookie Andrea Locatelli, who scored his best result yet on the second works Yamaha.
Michael van der Mark led the BMW contingent in sixth place, followed by the Honda of Alvaro Bautista, the BMWs of Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty, and Barni Ducati's Tito Rabat.
Redding remounted after his crash and salvaged two points for 14th place.
Rea leaves Estoril with an enhanced 35-point advantage in the riders' standings over Razgatlioglu, while Redding is a further point behind the Turkish rider in third place.
|6||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||21||15.189|
|21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||0|
|View full results|
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