His Kawasaki team-mate Alex Lowes was fourth in the Tissot Superpole race and then a non-finisher in the 20-lap finale to the weekend’s hot and intense action, this being the third round of the series at Portimao.
It was a perfect WSBK weekend for defending champion Rea at what has now become, statistically-speaking, his strongest circuit.
Three race wins saw him take his personal race-winning total to 12 at Portimao. With more podium finishes overall than even at Assen, in The Netherlands, where he has also won 12 times, the Algarve circuit is now Rea’s most rewarding track.
The British rider also scored the fastest lap in each race and was fastest qualifier in Tissot-Superpole on Saturday.
Entering the third round of the championship this weekend some 24 points behind the lead, Rea now leaves it four points in front of British Ducati star Scott Redding.
A clear win by almost three seconds in Sunday’s early 10-lap sprint race allowed Rea an ideal starting position for the second 20-lap race in the afternoon. He once more raced his pit board from the front of the pack and eased out to win by 4.3 seconds in the weekend finale.
After a dramatic turnaround in fortunes at the top of the championship this weekend Rea has 136 points, Redding 132, Razgatlioglu 103, Lowes 95 and Michael van der Mark 82.
The next round will be the first of two back-to-back race weekends at the magnificently appointed Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain, with the first of them taking place between 28-30 August.
“That was a perfect weekend,” said Rea afterwards.
“The fastest laps, pole position and three race wins. I do not think it was the result, but it was the way that we made the result this weekend. I could really enjoy the bike.
“It is strange, because sometimes fighting for a sixth place, like we did in Jerez last time, feels like I was riding 100%. Giving everything to finish sixth. This weekend I could do whatever I wanted and kept increasing the gap at the front. It is an incredible feeling as a rider.
“I knew Portimao was going to be a good track, and I was talking myself into a good result, but we did not come here in the winter tests so I knew it could also be a difficult weekend. I did not start well on Friday in FP1, but we were able to just work calmly together and understand the bike.”
Photo courtesy Kawasaki Europe, Graeme Brown, GeeBee Images
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Leading championship standings after round three:
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) 136 points;
- Scott Redding (Ducati) 132;
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) 103;
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) 91;
- Michael Van Der Mark (Yamaha) 82;
- Chaz Davies (Ducati) 75;
- Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 55;
- Loris Baz (Yamaha) 54;
- Michael Ruben (Ducati) 53;
- Ton Sykes (BMW) 47.