Jonathan Rea chose to focus on the positives from his comprehensive return to the top step of the World Superbike podium at Imola this weekend, despite seeing his hopes of a lucrative triple victory scuppered by rain.

Demonstrating the form that spurred him onto title success between 2015 and 2018, Rea’s performances in race one and the Superpole race come at a time when he has struggled to respond to Alvaro Bautista’s dominance thus far in 2019.

Allowing him to reduce the overall lead from 53 to 43 points, Rea was delighted to get the maximum from the Kawasaki ZX-10RR and defeat his Ducati rival for the first time.

“It was a really positive weekend, to get my feeling with the bike here and be able to really get the maximum out of it,” he said. “To pick up two race wins makes me really happy. I want to thank all the team for always believing and keeping on pushing.

“We never stopped believing that this weekend was a perfect opportunity for the chance to win. With our form here in the past, the way our bike works here and the way I ride - it was our chance. So we had to take it and I did, in both races.”

However, while rivals couldn’t stop Rea this weekend, it was Mother Nature that would intervene instead with a deluge ahead of the final race ultimately forcing organisers to cancel it altogether.

Though Rea was visibly disappointed by the decision not to get on track, having contributed to feedback from the safety car as assessments were being taken by officials, he insists he isn’t dwelling on the lost opportunity.

“Unfortunately race three was cancelled because of the weather which came in. I completely understand and I am sure we will get our chance again.”

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