Jonathan Rea has described his World Superbike race wins run as ‘incredible’ following ‘a really tough race’ to complete his double victory at Portimao.

After a dominant victory in the Portimao opener, the Kawasaki rider bolted up to second place by lap two in Sunday's race two but initially struggled to find a way past leader Chaz Davies.

But on lap 11 the reigning World Superbike champion got the move done with a strong block pass at Turn 11 before managing his race pace to keep clear of the chasing pack as Davies faded due to his collarbone injury sustained less than three weeks before the Portimao round.

With victory extending his championship points lead to 116 over nearest rival Davies, Rea will have the chance to repeat history by sealing the title at the same circuit he clinched his 2017 crown with Magny-Cours up next in two weeks.

Rea also recorded his first-ever triple-double, counting back to his double victories at Laguna Seca and Misano last July, while he moved to just one podium off Troy Bayliss’s outright record in the series of 130 career rostrums. Rea's race two win was also his 66th career victory in the series.

“The run right now is incredible,” Rea said. “It was a really tough race, as I had to fight a lot in the beginning. I made a very good start and had good track position early on. At turn five an opportunity opened up behind two riders and I found myself right behind Tom. He proved very hard to pass. I made a pass stick in T13, and chased Chaz down within a lap.

“Then it took me so many laps to go past him because he was braking so late, and his bike was so fast in the straight. Once I got past I just concentrated on making a couple of clean laps and setting my rhythm.

“The pace today was a little bit slower because the temperature had risen a bit and also I used the tyre a little bit more coming through the pack. I put everything into the race and managed to get 25 points, so I am really happy.”

Rea will have his first chance to secure a historic fourth consecutive World Superbike title at the next round in race one in France if he outscores Davies by nine points or more and does not concede more than nine points to Pata Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark.



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