WSBK Magny Cours: Fifth double for Rea

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea demonstrated that despite securing the championship crown in Jerez, his hunger to win remains the same as he dominated in France this weekend, chasing Troy

Rea leads the way under cloudy skies

Photo: WorldSBK

Bayliss’ record of 14 wins in a season. Securing his fifth double win of the season, there is no doubt that Rea continues to fly aboard his championship winning machine.

Race Report: 

Race one brought tough damp conditions for the riders, and it was former champion Tom Sykes who was able to get away from the field and pull an early lead aboard his ZX-10R, gaining over 3 seconds. However grip issues as the track began to dry for Sykes saw him quickly drop off the pace which allowed team-mate and main rival Rea to catch him on the 17th lap.

Reigning world champion Sylvain Guintoli was able to secure his first podium of the season as he judged the tricky conditions of the race well, putting him one position ahead of his PATA Honda team-mate Michael van der Mark.

Despite this comfortable 1-2 finish for the Kawasaki duo they were challenged by a chasing pack of riders however this came to a quick end as a strong move from Leon Haslam’s on Chaz Davies at the Adelaide hairpin pushed both riders wide, gifting Sykes and Rea a five second lead.

Track conditions had improved in time for race two, meaning riders were able to race on dry track for the first time all weekend. Fans were treated to an early dice for the lead between Haslam, Rea, Sykes and Davies however Rea quickly pulled away from the all British group.

Result:
Race one:
1. Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 19 laps
2. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +4.711s
3. Sylvain Guintoli FRA PATA Honda CBR1000RR +14.683s
4. Michael van der Mark NED PATA Honda CBR1000RR +22.772s
5. Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta F4 RR +30.136s
6. Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1199R +31.528s
7. Matteo Baiocco ITA Althea Ducati 1199R +32.129s
8. Alex Lowes GBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 +39.034s
9. Leandro Mercado ARG Barni Ducati 1199R +61.396s
10. Niccolò Canepa ITA Althea Ducati 1199R +67.845s

Race two: 
1. Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 21 laps
2. Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1199R +2.848s
3. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +6.551s
4. Michael van der Mark NED PATA Honda CBR1000RR +10.202s
5. Leon Haslam GBR Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 +12.921s
6. Sylvain Guintoli FRA PATA Honda CBR1000RR +19.885s
7. Niccolò Canepa ITA Althea Ducati 1199R +24.248s
8. Jordi Torres ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 +27.248s
9. Luca Scassa ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1199R +29.220s
10. Alex Lowes GBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 +32.799s

Rider reactions

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.”

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.”

Davies: “In race 2 I had decent pace but, also considering the general standings, I chose not to take too many risks trying to catch Rea. When I saw Sykes start to drop back a little, I decided to focus on scoring second position. In race 1 on the other hand we got the set-up wrong, not managing to change back to a wet set-up from a dry one in time. It was like riding on ice and I did all I could to bring it home in sixth. Anyway I’m pleased with the weekend, both for the fact that this is my first podium at Magny-Cours and also because we head to Qatar with an advantage of 16 points over Tom. He’s always been strong here in France and I actually thought I might lose more points here today; so it’s gone well and now we can focus on the final round.”

Guintoli: “It was good to grab the opportunity with the wet conditions in race one and bring home the first podium of the season. Race two was dry but it was OK – P6 was not too bad, and I would definitely have taken that yesterday morning. We made a few changes from the last dry session in FP4 yesterday to improve the pace and we used the SC0 tyre. I thought the other tyre would drop in performance but the guys in front seemed to be on that one. The important thing was that it was two solid races. To be on the podium at home was what I really wanted to do, so it’s been a good performance from the whole team. Now we’re looking forward to the final round in Qatar to finish the season on a high.” 

Van der Mark: “It’s been an awesome day because we’ve had some problems all weekend, not only on Friday and Saturday but also in Superpole yesterday. I wasn’t really happy and then the warm-up was wet this morning. It was OK though, and I had such a good start to race one. I took a lot of risks but the bike felt really good, even though I missed a bit of acceleration. I was really happy with fourth and happy for Sylvain to be on the podium because he also worked really hard. For race two we changed some settings on the front for the dry and it worked perfectly. I got a really good start again and fought my way round the outside and ended up in a nice battle with Sylvain. There was a gap to Leon [Haslam] and I had to make a bit of a move to get by him. Our bike is not quite as fast as his and I had to make so much speed going on to the back straight that I had no choice really. I was not really sure about making the move but I was quite happy with how it worked out! Then I saw the pace of Sykes in third was dropping a little so I kept pushing in case it dropped more. But I’m really happy with another fourth place and want to thank the guys in my crew who did a fantastic job today.”


Championship Standings:

1 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 452
2 Chaz Davies Aruba.it Ducati Racing 308
3 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 295
4 Leon Haslam Aprilia Racing Red Devils 259
5 Jordi Torres Aprilia Racing Red Devils1 186

6 Sylvain Guintoli PATA Honda 162
7 Michael van der Mark PATA Honda 125
8 Davide Giugliano Aruba.it Ducati Racing 119
9 Alex Lowes Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 112
10 Matteo Baiocco Althea Ducati 107

Next Race; Round 13, Losail, Qatar, 16th, 17th and 18th October

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