Jonathan Rea achieved his pre-weekend goal of breaching the 'big three' at the Nurburgring, the Northern Irishman coming away with a second win of the season and a new lap record to his name.
Rea put in a remarkable performance during the second race of the day, shrugging off an indifferent performance during the opening encounter, to take on and beat Ben Spies in a straight fight.
Matching his triumph at Misano earlier in the season, Rea recovered from a poor start to scythe his way into contention, snatching the lead on lap five, somewhat controversially, from Noriyuki Haga, the pair making contact and the Japanese rider coming down.
Nonetheless, Rea pushed on, resisting the attentions of a charging Spies in the closing stages to not only win, but also set a new lap record on the very final lap of the race. His victory is made all the more impressive given the claim that it was his mind-set, and not his bike, that changed between the races.
“Apart from the issues with my number one bike in the first part of race one, I had a real problem with turn three and messed up the race. I was a bit disappointed with fourth and was really motivated to ride better in race two. The guys sat me down in between races and gave me an instruction manual on how to win.
“We changed nothing on the bike and I tried to ride my own race and mind my own business. I got a really bad start and had to get a bit aggressive on people in turn one.
“Haga ran quite wide and I went on the inside and, although I didn't see him I felt a big bang and only found out he crashed after the race. I'm sorry for that but don't think it was my fault and I wouldn't blame him.
“I gave it all I could in the race and the package was very strong today so I can't thank the team enough. I knew I had to make no mistakes on the last lap because Ben was so close, so breaking the lap record then was great. But it's really a testament to how strong the bike is now and hopefully we can take this momentum on to the next race.”
Still fourth in the standings, Rea now has a sniff at third position having reduced the gap to Michel Fabrizio ahead to 45 points.
“All in all, we've had some good results this weekend,” said team manager Ronald ten Kate. “Jonathan had some problems to resolve after the race but, to his credit, he solved them himself – we didn't change anything on the bike.
“Going back to his number one machine for race two would have helped and our congratulations to him on the win. Also to the whole staff who have worked so hard over the last couple of weeks to keep us where we are.”