After doubling in Assen this weekend, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Jonathan Rea climbed from fifth to third in the 2010 World Superbike Championship.
But besides grabbing his maiden double and the first victory of this season (third and fourth of his WSBK career), Rea also piloted his CBR1000RR to his first-ever pole position. But the Brit still wasn’t done, and set a new lap record on the 4.452 Dutch circuit during race 2.
Jonathan Rea says: "I guess you could say that (Saturday’s) two races were probably the smartest I’ve ever ridden; I never got frustrated or caught in traffic and, when it was time to pull the pin, I did, and I’m really, really happy with the double. It’s a clean sweep with pole position, a double win and, I think the fastest lap, so I’m as proud as punch and I can’t wait to take this home. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and going to Monza but we’ll definitely savoir the moment and I’ll stick around the hospitality this evening and definitely buy the big boss a drink!"
Race one wasn’t an easy victory, though, as Rea took the win only a second ahead of fellow Brits James Toseland (Sterilgarda Yamaha) and Leon Camier (Alitalia Aprilia). Rea’s last two laps were very strong, ultimately giving him the win.
Race two was also a tight win, Rea finishing 1.942 seconds ahead of Alstare Suzuki rider Leon Haslam. Taking home third was Toseland, making for another all-British podium. Rea also went on to set the lap record of 1:36.312
Rea’s double was also the first for the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda since the Ryuichi Kiyonari doubled in Brands Hatch during the 2008 Championship, which was the last year the UK track was on the WSBK calendar.
Rea’s teammate, Max Neukirchner, crashed out during race one, but came back for a ninth-place finish in race two.
Ronald ten Kate (Team Manager) says "It’s quite difficult to describe our feelings at the moment. Jonathan’s clean sweep this weekend happened to be completed in one of the most exciting races we’ve seen. His victories also put us back in contention for the championship race. The second outing also showed a breakthrough for Max who has been working so hard to change his riding style this weekend. It’s paid off with his best result of the season and the whole performance of the team gives us something solid to build on as we head into the middle part of the season."
Going into Round 5 in Monza, Italy, Rea has 110 points, just 18 behind Alitalia Aprilia’s Max Biaggi and 38 behind the series’ leader, Haslam. More Motorcycle Racing News from Ultimate MotorCycling here.