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Jonathan Rea says rear tyre wear on the right-hand side of the tyre curtailed his pace to match Chaz Davies but was satisfied to still build his World Superbike championship lead in race one at Lausitzring.

The two-time World Superbike champion looked well set at the mid-race distance in second tucked up behind Davies and in front of team-mate Tom Sykes but his race pace began to dip which enabled the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider to escape up ahead.

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Rea says a rear tyre issue, with the problem heightened going through right-hand corners, prevented him from keeping pace with Davies and force him to maintain his place to stay ahead of Sykes and add four more points to his championship lead which now stands at 63 points with nine races remaining in 2017.

“In the beginning and middle parts of the race I felt I had the pace to be with Chaz,” Rea said. “Following him, I did not know exactly where I was going to be strong enough to make a pass to make my own race. I just tried to say stay there as long as I could and hope that the gap would open up behind.

“Then I started suffering with the right hand side of my rear tyre. I was starting to struggle to make the lap times and through some of the right-handers I felt on ice a little bit. I just had to manage my own race, and the guys gave me incredible pit-board signals. When Chaz was pulling out a gap there was nothing I could do to win. So I put all my effort into keeping a solid rhythm and preserving the tyre for the last laps.

“Until we all put our heads together and look at the data we will not really know if we chose the correct rear tyre option today. It has been such a tough weekend because of the conditions, and all the rain we have had. But the pace today was still much faster, on a green track, than last year’s race, or even my race simulation during the test here in the summer break. Hopefully it will not rain again so much tonight.”