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Rea edges closer to his fourth World title

MOTORBIKE ace Jonathan Rea is just two wins away from a fourth successive World Superbike title after completing a double in Portugal.

Rea (pictured right) won by 1.1 seconds from Dutchman Michael van der Mark as his title rival Chaz Davies could only manage fourth at Portimao.

The Kawasaki rider was taking his sixth and seventh race wins in succession and his third consecutive double this season to extend his championship lead to 116 points with six races remaining in France, Argentina and Qatar.

He can now win the championship at the next round at Magny-Cours in two weeks’ time after opening up a 116-point lead.

Rea's victory followed his dominant win over Melandri and van der Mark's in Saturday's Race One at the Portuguese venue.

Starting from ninth, the Ballyclare rider worked his way through the order into third by the end of the first lap.

He battled past team-mate Tom Sykes on lap three and began hunting down Welshman Davies.

Rea eventually caught up with nine laps to go, pulling away to take his third double victory in a row.

It was his 12th win out of 20 races this season.

After his big accident in Saturday's opener, Toome’s Eugene Laverty collected a top-10 finish in Sunday's race for Aprilia, finishing seventh.

On what was his 65th victory Rea, who raced under number 65 until he won his first world championship, said: “Sixty-five is a nice number of race victories and Portimao is a nice place to reach that total, especially with so many fans from Northern Ireland here.”

After winning the second race, a delighted Rea said: "Doubling up here is mad and I can't believe it."

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