Double Win For Rea And Double Podium For Sykes In France
Jonathan Rea (KRT) took the 13th and 14th race wins of his remarkable championship-winning season today during the 12th round of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Magny-Cours in France. He also broke through the 500 points mark, with one round and two races still to go. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was second and then third at Magny-Cours, to draw himself closer to second place in the championship standings.
After an oil spill on the wet track surface at the end of morning warm-up session the first race start was delayed and cut to 19-laps. The riders had to finally contend with a wet but drying track surface and a nervous first few laps.
The second race at the 4.411km circuit was held in dry but not ideal conditions after the track had to be heavily cleaned following the morning oil spill.
In the first race of the day Rea led for the first two laps, until he got demoted to second for a time by Sykes. Tom had been fourth after one lap, having started from ninth place on the grid. Rea waited until three laps from the end to take the lead again and earn his first ever WorldSBK race win at Magny-Cours. Sykes stuck to his task behind Rea but finally slowed to make sure he would take second place and another 20 championship points.
In the full-distance 21-lap second race, slightly delayed from its original starting time after a red flag in the earlier FIM Supersport World Championship fight, Chaz Davies led for nine laps before Rea took control, and won by 2.848 seconds while easing up over the line. Sykes, looking good for second again, could not pick up the pace at the end as he had used up his tyre in the early laps. He still scored his 13th podium of the season.
Rea now has 528 points and a lead of 145 over second place rider Chaz Davies. Sykes has 367 points, and has 16 points to make up over Davies in the final round at Qatar on October 18th to move into second place in the final points standings.
Jonathan Rea: “I am super-happy, especially to win in the wet and the dry. It was a double bonus. It was tough because I came here off the back of being really busy after winning the title in Jerez so I did not get too much down time, and my typical training week was out of the window. When I got back here it was just so important to me to get back on the podium. Pirelli brought my favourite SC2 front tyre and immediately from the first session I felt really comfortable again. So I am really happy to have come out and not just have two podium finishes but a double win at a circuit I have never won at before.”
Tom Sykes: “Two podiums today but things could have been even better. In race two we had the exact same bike set-up as we had in free practice and we had such a great feeling and great consistency then. The only thing I can think of is that today, with no rubber on the track, it looks like it did not accept the change. We used our package a bit too much and certainly used the tyres too much and for that we were not able to finish off the corners in some areas, and that proved costly. In race one we had a good race in the first half but it just did not stick in there in the drying conditions.”
David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) had a DNF in race one, followed up by being 14th in race two. Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) scored a point in race one, for 15th place, but just missed out again by being 16th in the second. Salom is only three points behind Ramos, in 15th position overall, with one round remaining.