Jonathan Rea is hoping his maiden World Superbike Championship victory at Misano will be the turning point he needs to begin challenging for wins on a regular basis over the remainder of the season.
The Northern Irishman became only the fourth different race winner this season after prevailing in a race long battle with Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga, one that would see Rea pass Fabrizio on the final lap and cling on for victory.
Coming on the weekend that Ten Kate Honda took the risk of changing their suspension supplier to Ohlins, Rea was thrilled to be maintaining a trajectory that has seen him establish himself as a consistent front runner in recent races.
“I just want to thank the whole crew and the Andreani group for working so hard to help make this happen,” he said. “It really bodes well for us all for the rest of the season.
“Race two was great and, as soon as I knew I had the pace to match the two Ducatis I was comfortable. I tried a few different lines in the closing laps to probe and find the best way through.
“When I got past Fabrizio, it was pretty straightforward. It's really nice to win here in Italy, in Ducati's back yard, where we thought it would be quite hard. But we've come on leaps and bounds recently and hopefully we can fight at the front in every race.”
Race day wasn't entirely plain sailing for Rea though after fuel problems on the sighting lap forced him to start from the pit lane in race one, while both he and Ryuichi Kiyonari were given drive-through penalties after the Japanese rider gave him a ride back to the pit lane.
Nonetheless, Rea overcame these issues, and a damaged bike, to finish seventh and further consolidate his fourth position in the overall standings.
“We knew we had the pace this weekend but race one was a pretty bad situation. I needed to start with scrubbed tyres in the wet but the problem on the sighting lap finished that plan. With the penalties and brand new tyres and having destroyed my footrest and rear brake in the crash with Kiyo, it was difficult, so seventh was about as good as we could have hoped for.”