Jonathan Rea roars to hat-trick of World Superbike wins
Ballyclare rider Jonathan Rea produced a hat-trick of World Superbike race wins at the Prosecco British Round of the World Championships at Donington Park at the weekend, leap-frogging Spain's Alvaro Bautista for the lead in the world standings.
Rea is now a full 24 points in the lead as he races to try and make it five world titles in a row.
Rea's sheer dominance and skill hushed the critics that said he would not be able to overhaul Bautista this season, but they obviously underestimated the Northern Irishman's guts and world class skill.
In Saturday's Race One, Rea made the most of the wet conditions along with Championship leader Alvaro Bautista crashing out on lap 10. Rea powered and splashed his way around the Donington circuit eventually finishing with 11 seconds to spare over runner up Tom Sykes on his BMW with Rea's team-mate Leon Haslam in third.
The Superpole Race two, over 10 laps, was red-flagged on lap eight after Peter Hickman's BMW dumped oil on the circuit with six other riders sliding off in the melee.
At that point Rea was holding a slender advantage over Sykes with Topak Razgatliouglu in third place.
Then more drama unfolded when Sykes was caught out on the oil spill on the slowing down lap with the BMW riding crashing to the ground.
He returned on foot to the pits where he thought he had taken a fine second place but was excluded from the results due to Sykes not returning to parc ferme on his machine.
The Yorkshireman was left reeling by the decision.
Razgatliouglu was promoted into second place and Leon Haslam, who had finished in fourth place, moved up onto the final podium place at Syke's expense.
In race three, it was yet again a Rea v Razgatliouglu battle.
Rea led the race for the first three laps before Razgatliouglu took a spell at the front from Rea with Leon Haslam in third place.
Both Rea and Raz swapped the lead with Rea pulling the pin on lap 12.
He was never headed as he took his third win of the weekend and a 24-point lead in the world standings.