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Rea opens WSBK title defence

Fifth and second at Phillip Island

Jonathan Rea had a tough start to the defence of his World Superbike title.

The Castletown resident finished fifth and second at the opening round of the 2018 championship at Phillip Island, Australia.

He had been in second place in the first race, until tyre issues later on saw him drop down the field, while he was pipped by hundredths of a second in race two.

Marco Melandri won both.

Rea has dominated the Australian round for the last three years, winning five of the six races and coming second in the other one.

He is aiming for a fourth consecutive WSBK title.

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