Jonathan Rea is thrilled to “tick that box” with a first World Superbike win at Jerez but was sad to see it came at the expense of missing out on a late race fight with Marco Melandri who retired with a technical issue.

Melandri was leading Rea by around one second with four laps to go when his Racing Ducati came to a halt at turn one, which enabled the triple World Superbike champion to escape up the road and claim his victory WorldSBK win at Jerez.

Rea was confident he had the pace to challenge Melandri for victory but admits he had been “riding way over my limit” hunting down the Italian rider.

“It is so, so nice to tick that box for a Jerez race win. I really wanted it, even before the problem for Marco,” Rea said. “I was riding way over my limit to try to chase Marco down. The gap was slowly coming, some laps not changing, but tenth by tenth I was getting excited.

“In the end he had a problem and I am really sorry for him because he did not deserve that. We both deserved to be able to fight to the end.

“I was trying to manage the race a little bit in the beginning because I did not get a long run in yesterday, after my big crash, so I was not sure how the tyre choice we made was going to play out.

“Arguably, I gave up too many positions when Marco came past but in the end we go it done. I went all in to that race. With the position we now have in the championship I went in over my head - but it was fun to ride like this.”

Rea needs to win all three of the remaining races in the 2017 World Superbike season to create more history by scoring the most points in a single season, a record currently held by Colin Edwards after his 2002 haul of 552 points.


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