Saturday’s racing at the Spanish Round saw Jonathan Rea register his first victory as the recently crowned 2017 WorldSBK champion, taking advantage of a late technical issue for provisional race leader Marco Melandri.
With his first ever win at Jerez, Rea was joined on the podium at the end of a restarted Race 1 at Round 12 by Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes.
On his way to equaling Carl Fogarty’s career podium record of 109 rostrum results in WorldSBK Rea took over at the front after Melandri pulled off with a problem with four laps to go.
Rea had taken control of the restarted race in the early stages and led for several laps before Melandri made a move with 13 laps to go at turn 9 up the inside of the Northern Irishman. Davies then followed Melandri through to overtake Rea, but Rea soon responded to retake the Welshman and slot back in behind the Italian.
As Melandri chased his second race win in 2017, since his return to WorldSBK at the start of the year, cruel luck saw him pull off towards the end of the race, leaving Rea to take the glory.
Sykes produced a solid ride in third place as he continues to recover from wrist and finger injuries sustained in Portugal in September, with Davies crossing the line just under 0.5s ahead of him in second.
It was another strong performance from Alex Lowes as he collected more good points on the Yamaha YZF R1, crossing the line fourth, 3.677s ahead of his teammate Michael van der Mark who was fifth.
2014 World Champion Sylvain Guintoli’s return to action on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR saw him finish a creditable sixth, in the first of four races he will ride for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at the final two rounds of the season.
The top ten was rounded out by Milwaukee Aprilia duo Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty and Spanish pair Xavi Fores and Roman Ramos - in seventh to tenth places respectively.
Turn 13 proved to be unlucky for Takumi Takahashi as he lost the front end of his Honda CBR1000RR, though he picked it up to finish 16th. Takahashi’s Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team colleague Davide Giugliano was an unfortunate late retiree.
In the initial race start a turn 6 crash on the first lap involving Ayrton Badovini and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) brought out the red flags.
After a short break the race was recommenced with a quick restart procedure with the riders keeping their focus in the clear conditions in Andalusia on the resurfaced Jerez track, though neither Badovini nor De Rosa made it back onto the grid.
Race 2 for the WorldSBK riders at the Pirelli Spanish Round takes place at 1pm on Sunday.
Gamarino will debut in the premier class
Jake Gagne returns to Honda factory team
Changes to the WorldSBK Regulations for
Gabriele Ruiu to ride with Team Grillini
Rolfo to ride Team Grillini Suzuki machi
Rea ends test Jerez with incredible lap
Lowes happy with opening days in Spain
Melandri fastest man on track as day fou
Davies forced to recuperate after Wednes
Sykes ends day three at Jerez under lap
Rea stuns to top day one at Jerez test
Baz will be out on the BMW for the first
What to expect in the first WorldSBK pre
Razgatlioglu to ride for Kawasaki Racing
Orelac Racing team to make the step up n
Rea signs off fantastic season with Losa
We made the best of what we had - Davies
Laverty felt like "real race"
Rea wins penultimate race of season in Q
Rea flies to take final pole of the year
Rea ends day one at the Qatar Round at t
Rea on top in FP1 at final round, with S
WorldSBK set for 13 rounds in 2018
Rea wants to finish the season strong
Guarnoni to make the step up to WorldSBK
Melandri: "Every rider fights with their
Double Jerez win sealed by champion Rea
Davies: "I felt we were learning as the
Rea delighted to take first victory arou
Melandri on pole for Saturday showdown a
Van der Mark: "I am happy because I didn
Rea: "Our pace here is fast"
Rea Friday’s fastest despite FP2 crash
Sharp Rea sets pace in early Jerez run
Rea feels fired up for the challenge at
Davies aims to have another solid weeken
Lowes feeling great with the R1
2018 WorldSBK calendar begins to take sh
Rea: "I wanted to win the race so badly,
Superb Rea seals third successive title
Cool Rea secures French pole in wet SP2
Bradl to sit out on the remainder of the
Rea: "Whatever happens tomorrow we have
Pace setter Rea wraps up Friday ahead of
Sharp Rea leads opening Magny-Cours sess
Could a championship be decided in Franc
Rea to put championship fight out of his
Loris Baz set to move to WorldSBK in 201
Double victory puts Rea in position of s
Laverty: "We’ve had the same problems si
Rea tops official Portimao test
Rea makes it a double at Portimao
Rea "lost for words" after Portimao win
Davies happy to take 20 points in race o
Runaway victory for unstoppable Rea
Rea storms to pole in Portimao sunshine
Rea: "I managed to be very consistent"
Rapid Rea leads the way on day one
Rea on top in opening Portimao session
Takahashi to step in for Red Bull Honda
Rea: thinks that another two year contra
Davies completes double victory in Germa
Sykes on top as action resumes at Lausit
Bradl: "It’s important for me to do well
Giugliano back in the WorldSBK with a st
Rea takes Sunday win at US WorldSBK roun
Marvelous Melandri takes 100th Italian v