Superbike World Championship – France
A Five-Star Rea
While there are still two events to be run, Jonathan Rea on the Magny-Cours circuit won his fifth world champion title in a row. A unique performance in the history of the Superbike World Championship.
By winning the second race of the weekend at Magny-Cours as well as the sprint of the Superpole, Jonathan Rea clinched his fifth World Superbike title, something no rider has ever done before. The previous day, the Kawasaki rider was second in the first heat organized on the French circuit. The feat is all the greater in that there are still two events on the calendar, in Argentina and Qatar, and only a while ago Rea was 61 points behind Alvaro Bautista. “I’m super happy,” said the Brit. “It’s the most incredible challenge I’ve ever met since I started racing. The beginning of the season was very complicated, but we never gave up. We managed to react and work as a team. Honestly, I didn’t expect to win the title this weekend. The goal was to get it in Argentina and then go to Qatar without any pressure. Bautista’s fall was an opportunity that we couldn’t miss. I was better on the bike today, it was warmer and the pace was slower. Michael was better than me in some parts of the circuit, I was better in others. I took stock of the situation before riding all-out to win. And winning the title on top of a new victory is just fantastic. It’s a great reward for the whole team without whom nothing would have been possible.” For Leon Haslam, the weekend at Magny-Cours was more difficult. Victim of a crash Saturday, the Kawasaki rider had to settle for seventh place under the chequered flag on Sunday afternoon. Toprak Razgatlioglu took advantage of the French event to chalk up his first World Superbike win. The Turkish rider unfortunately fell on Sunday after clinching with Alvaro Bautista. In Supersport, Lucas Mahais chalked up his first win of the season in front of his fans after a hard-fought race. if proof was needed, Hikaro Okubo finished fifth – just two seconds behind his teammate.
Backed by the 83rd victory of his career in Superbike, at Magny-Cours Jonathan Rea became the first five-time world champion in the history of the championship. With 544 points, 129 more than Alvaro Bautista, his runner-up, the Kawasaki rider is sure he cannot be overtaken when there are only two races left to contend. Leon Haslam slipped to sixth overall with 21 points behind Toprak Tazgatlioglu, who is now in fifth place with just 14 points behind Michael Van der Mark. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias has consolidated his fourth place and is now only 14 points from Jules Cluzel. Hikari Okubo keeps his fifth place. 30 points now separate the two teammates.