Rea made a brilliant pass on the last lap to rival Ducati Alvaro Bautista complete a straight victory in the second round of the 2022 WSBK season in Portugal, bringing him 17 points ahead of the drivers ’standings.

However, Ulsterman nearly lost the win, approaching a straight start / finish, and he was lucky to linger on his Kawasaki, getting a checkered flag just 0.194 seconds behind Bautista, who was chasing Ducati.

Explaining the mistake he made, Rea said, “I thought I was, frankly, screwed up because on the last corner I had such a big slide. I thought no, he would make me.

“But I continued to ride the hill, ride the hill, and eventually I was able to get the job done. So it’s nice when the last space goes your way.

“It was a great battle with Taprak from the first rounds [Razgatlioglu]. And then in the middle of the race at some point I felt, “Okay, I’m faster, go ahead, but just stay there.” Go as slow as possible in the front position for placement on the track, save the tire, save energy.

“I felt some persistence when Alvaro passed by because the race seemed to have started again, his rhythm was strong. I tried not to make mistakes and did not feel the need to go through it. I worked where I could be strong, where he was strong, and then he followed his plan, and it worked. ”

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team WSBK

Photo: Gold and Goose / Drawings of motorsport

Rea had to regroup after being overtaken by Bautista to become the leader on the 14th of the 22nd lap when racer Kawasaki spent the second half of the race trying to find a way past his rival Ducati.

The ambitious move to turn 7 on the last lap did not pay off, as Bautista was able to retake immediately after that, which forced Rea to make a block pass in a chic 9/10 turn – the same place where he snatched the Superpole to win from Toprak Razgatlyoglu earlier on Sunday.

“After the last lap, I got a very good grip with the last turn, I used the sliding current on the first part of the straight line,” Rea explained.

“During the three previous laps Alvaro was a little short of the top in the first turn, so I was able to just stop, catch the turn and by the third turn I was here.

“When I saw how fast he was in between [Turns] 4 and 5 and at 6, I thought no way. But I let go of the brakes, used the turning speed and picked up the bike, and honestly, the traction I had was very good. I was able to drive close.

“I felt that earlier on the wheel I could do it, the more I could get time on the track before a long straight. I tried Turn 7, it cut off.

«[Then I] parked it on top of the chicane and just stopped it from making it fall on me. Then I made my line, tried to make a good exit. «

The leader of the championship Bautista said that he was waiting for the attempts of Rea’s pass and tried to close the door to him through the chicane.

However, the six-time WSBK champion was able to make a lunge in a tough left-to-right sequence, making his way past Bautista on his way to his fifth win of the season.

“On the 7th turn, he tried to bypass me, and I was ready to take the lead again – in fact, I did,” said the Spaniard. “And in chic I knew he would try [to pass me]. I closed [the door]just left a few feet between the curb and me, but he just put the bike inside.

“It’s hard to defend in that corner [any] more than me. It is also very difficult to regain position because it is very close to another corner and you have no space. I waited [him to make a pass]I tried to defend, but could not defend my position. “

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