Briton Jonathan Rea had a near perfect race weekend at Imola on Sunday as the Pata Honda rider clinched victory at both the races of round four of the Superbike World Championship. Ducati's Chaz Davies ended a pleasant day for Ducati as the Welshman finished second in both the races. This was Ducati's first podium finish in the WSBK 2014. Things were not as expectedfor defending champion Tom Sykes, who managed only a third place finish in the first race.
Jonathan Rea flanked by Chaz Davies (left) and Sylvain Guintoli on the podium for the second race at Imola
With this performance, Rea snatches the lead from Sykesin the Driver's Championship by a slender four points. This was the Pata Honda rider's third consecutive win of the season as hewas able to maintainhis momentum from the Assen win last month. Aprilia's Sylvain Guintoli was able to end a lacklustre day at Imola for himself, finishing third, keeping his position secure in the title hunt. Guintoli who finished fifth in the first race currently sits 16 points behind Rea and trails Sykes by 12 points. His team-mate Marco Melandri, who was expecting a better homecoming, finished the two races in sixth and eleventh place.
Things didn't go favourably for another home favourite, Davide Giugliano, as a poor start and a subsequent accident ruined the first race for him. Thesecondrace saw him make amends to climb up to second place only to give it away as the race progressed. The Ducati rider finished the race eventuallyin sixth place. Further down the rankings, Team Hero EBR's Geoff May was able to complete the second race finishing eighteenth, the team's only finish of the round.
In the EVO Class, Leon Camier of BMW Motorrad Italia finished on top. The EVO Class is a sub-category introduced this year in which bikes conform to the former FIM Superstock engine specifications, but the rest of the specifications remain the same as the Superbike class. Mahi Racing Team India's Fabien Foret finished fourth in this class onhis Kawasaki ZX 10R.
The next round of the Superbike World Championship will be at Donington Park on the 25th of May before the series heads to Sepang, Malaysia on the 8th of June.