Jonathan Rea forced into second in Utah Superbike race

Jonathan Rea is now third in the World Superbike standings

Jonathan Rea narrowly missed out on his third World Superbike win of the season when he lost out to Marco Melandri on the final lap of race two at Utah.

Rea had taken the lead with seven laps remaining but a speed disadvantage on the home straight proved decisive.

The Ballyclare rider had finished fourth in race one and now lies fourth in the overall standings, 19.5 points behind series leader Max Biaggi.

Eugene Laverty was eighth and sixth at the Miller Motorsports Park.

The Toomebridge ace is eighth in the championship.

Biaggi won race one from Melandri and Tom Sykes, with Rea fourth after complaining of chatter problems.

Rea made some alterations to his bike for the second race and they reaped dividends for the Honda rider, who had qualified fifth.

Biaggi was third in the race, which was shortened to 18 laps after a red flag delay.

"We knew we had good pace for today but I had some front chatter in race one," explained Rea.

"It was coming from the engine braking so we released that a bit for race two - we changed the front tyre as well, because the temperature had gone up.

"That gave me the confidence to push because I knew the guys in front in race one had used the same one. It was good, and my guys gave me a little bit more power off the turn.

"It's clear to see how well the bike is working and how much traction I've got.

"It's just the big, long straight here at Salt Lake where we've been down on speed.

"Without dwelling on the negatives, my guys gave me a great bike and it's working really well.

"I've got real confidence now and don't feel like I'm riding on the edge - it's quite controlled, which is a good thing."

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