Click here for full WorldSBK race one results from Imola

Jonathan Rea says looking at the World Superbike championship with a wider perspective second place to Chaz Davies in race one at Imola is a positive result having extended his points lead.

The defending World Superbike champion says he was ultimately powerless to halt Davies clear off at the front having raced 'on the limit' with his Kawasaki ZX-10RR but held on to second place after the race was prematurely halted by a red flag at the start of lap 14 after a fiery crash for Eugene Laverty.

With nearest rival in the championship Tom Sykes finishing third Rea has extended his points lead to 71, while seeing his advantage over Davies trimmed to 80 points, so is keen to focus on the positives ahead of race two on Sunday.

"In previous races I felt that if they could go faster I could go faster, that there was a little bit left in my pocket. This race I felt I was riding at the limit of my package a little bit," Rea said. "I had better front end stability for sure today after we changed the geometry to give me more confidence in hard braking and trail braking.

"This is one of the hardest stop-and-go circuits on the calendar. We struggled last year and it was a relatively difficult race again today.

"But to only lose five points to Chaz, and increase my championship lead - it was a good day. I am sure the new grid procedure will throw a different kind of race tomorrow, as I will be starting from eighth place."

Since 2011 every World Superbike race at Imola has been won by a rider starting from the front row of the grid, providing a big challenge for the podium trio of Davies, Rea and Marco Melandri starting in reverse order on row three with the race two grid shake-up.

The last victory at Imola from a rider off the front row came in 2010 when Carlos Checa did the double starting from ninth on the grid.

 

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