Race Lap Record: 1:37.018, Toprak Razgatlioglu, 2019
All-Time Lap Record: 1:35.696, Tom Sykes, 2018
FIM Superbike World Championship
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, France
September 29, 2019
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):
- Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 21 laps, Total Race Time 34:26.280, Best Lap Time 1:37.929
- Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), -0.862 second, 1:37.959
- Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -1.702 seconds, 1:37.618
- Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale V4 R), -4.014, 1:37.998
- Loris Baz, France (Yam YZF-R1), -4.989, 1:37.855
- Marco Melandri, Italy (Yam YZF-R1), -19.939, 1:38.622
- Leon Haslam, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), -20.130, 1:38.213
- Tom Sykes, UK (BMW S1000RR), -20.3059.219, 1:38.023
- Leon Camier, UK (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -26.564, 1:38.889
- Jordi Torres, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), -27.855, 1:39.202
- Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kaw ZX-10RR), -30.190, 1:38.992
- Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Duc Panigale V4 R), -32.283, 1:39.454
- Sylvain Barrier, France (Duc Panigale V4 R), -48.000, 1:40.164
- Ryuichi Kiyonari, Japan (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -48.298, 1:39.807
- Markus Reiterberger, Germany (BMW S1000RR), -48.703, 1:39.505
- Alessandro Delbianco, Italy (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -54.384, 1:40.059
- Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Duc Panigale V4 R), -3 laps, pitted, 1:38.702
- Sandro Cortese, Germany (Yam YZF-R1), -11 laps, DNF, retired, 1:38.675
- Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Duc Panigale V4 R), -19 laps, crash, no lap time recorded
- Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), -20 laps, crash, no lap time recorded
World Championship Point Standings (after 31 of 37 races):
- Rea, 544 points (Clinches 2019 World Championship)
- Bautista, 415
- Lowes, 279
- Van Der Mark, 274
- Razgatlioglu, 260
- Haslam, 239
- Davies, 223
- Sykes, 209
- Melandri, 171
- Cortese, 122
More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
#FRAWorldSBK – Day 3:
Rea wins to clinch a historic fifth consecutive WorldSBK title at Magny-Cours!
A five-star performance as Rea holds off van der Mark to become the first five-time WorldSBK champion!
The Pirelli French Round will go down in the history books of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. It began with Turkey’s first ever winner in Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) and finished with Jonathan Rea winning Race 2 to become the championship’s first ever five-time champion following early misfortune for nearest rival Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati).
Starting from pole position for the first time in WorldSBK, Toprak Razgatlioglu couldn’t make the same lightning start which saw him leap up the order in the two previous races. Rea edged up the inside into Turn 1 to grab the lead but he wouldn’t stay ahead for long, as Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) used the slipstream to hit the front at the Adelaide hairpin.
The moment which ultimately proved decisive in the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship came on Lap 2 as Razgatlioglu lost the rear of his Kawasaki on the exit of Turn 13. As the Turkish rider fought to control the slide, Alvaro Bautista was powerless to avoid the Race 1 winner and both riders were eliminated on the spot. With the words ‘BAUTISTA OUT’ displayed on his pit-board next time around, Rea now knew that a race victory would see him make history.
Michael van der Mark was keen to ensure that Rea didn’t have an unchallenged run to a fifth WorldSBK crown, keeping the Ulsterman at bay until the Imola chicane on Lap 6. The Dutchman didn’t trail for long with the Yamaha proving a formidable motorcycle down the back straight towards Turn 5, an advantage van der Mark utilised to power past on Lap 8.
As the race ticked over half distance, Rea mounted another attack on the leader with van der Mark going defensive into Adelaide. The championship leader was wise to this tactic though and drew alongside into the following Nurburgring chicane, making the move stick on Lap 13. With van der Mark no longer close enough to make use of the slipstream next time around, Rea had the margin he needed to ease clear.
Despite a valiant effort from van der Mark, the advantage grew to over one-second, allowing Rea to close out the final laps and claim his 12th victory of 2019. This one was the sweetest of all though as he completed one of the great WorldSBK comebacks. From 61 points behind, Rea now holds an unassailable 129-point advantage and a place in the history books as the first ever five-time WorldSBK champion.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) completed the team’s first double-podium of the season with a close third, consolidating third in the championship standings, while Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), who was heavily delayed in the early collision between his team-mate Alvaro Bautista and Toprak Razgatlioglu, recovered to finish fourth, overtaking home favourite Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) on Lap 14. Despite a late challenge from the Frenchman, he was forced to settle for fifth, completing a positive weekend at his home round as the Top Independent Rider in Race 2.
Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) closed out the final European round of his WorldSBK career with a strong charge from 15th on the grid to sixth, winning a close three-way fight on the last lap. The Italian finished just a tenth of a second clear of Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) right behind the pair in eighth.
Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) capped off an impressive comeback to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with ninth place, finishing a second clear of Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing). Elsewhere, there were points for French wildcard Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) in 13th but disappointment for Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) who was forced to retire midway through the race while running in the top ten.
P1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“I can quite believe it. It has been an incredible year so far, and a year I have never given up, I’ve kept believing in myself, believing in my bike, believing in my crew and believing in my effort. After the fourth race, it was so tough to keep turning up when you know that he is going to be so difficult to win, but in the mid-season, we turn things around. I don’t have so many words right now, because I did not expect this today. I had no idea what was going to happen. If I would win today, what was the point situation, but I knew when I got the sign that Bautista was out that I could mathematically have the chance. And I did it! Thanks to all my team, all my family and all the people who have been working with me, Kawasaki, the sponsors, all the people that made this possible. It’s a huge team effort, and I couldn’t be here without them”
P2 – Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)
“I tried everything today! We improved the bike a bit in some area but toward the end, we lost quite a lot from Johnny but I really enjoyed this race and we had a nice battle! Of course, I saw that Alvaro was out so I knew Rea wasn’t going to do any crazy thing. I tried to stay with him, I passed him a few times but in the end he was a bit stronger. I want to thank my team because we got another podium”.
P3 – Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)
“I have got a little bit of good luck at the start of the race with the accident that happened in front of me. But after that, I felt strong on the bike and I was able to ride in 1’37 and catch Jonathan and Michael. Unfortunately, I pushed a lot in the middle and when I got there my front tyre was worn out a lot, so I couldn’t fight with van der Mark in the end but I am pleased with the podium and it set us out nicely for the final two fly-aways of the year”.
#FRAWorldSBK at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours: Race 2
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2. Michael van der Mark (PATA Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.862
3. Alex Lowes (PATA Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +1.702
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 11
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (490 points)
2. Alvaro Bautista (ESP) Ducati (399 points)
3. Alex Lowes (GBR) Yamaha (249 points)
For more information in more languages head to WorldSBK.com
WorldSSP: Mahias takes thrilling home win as title challengers falter
Home crowd erupts as the Frenchman fends off Vinales with Krummenacher and Caricasulo crashing out
Unpredictability reigns in a dramatic WorldSSP race at the Pirelli French Round as championship favourites Randy Krummenacher and Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) both crashed out to leave the championship finely poised. This left the door open for Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) to claim his first win of the season after a thrilling last lap scrap with Isaac Vinales (Kallio Racing).
As the race got underway, Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) immediately grabbed the lead from first-time polesitter Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) but there was drama behind with three riders colliding at Turn 1. Maximilien Bau (GMT94 YAMAHA), Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Federico Fuligni (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) were the riders involved with the red flags immediately brought out. All three riders were conscious although they will be transported to Nevers hospital for further assessments.
The quick restart procedure was brought into effect and Cluzel made no mistake once again, edging ahead of Smith. The shortened 12-lap race exploded into life moments later as Randy Krummenacher highsided on the exit of the 180 corner. The Swiss rider was lucky to be avoided by Lucas Mahias, who was forced to take avoiding action, but his exit presented team-mate and title rival Federico Caricasulo with a golden opportunity.
The Italian responded by grabbing the lead on the second lap, slipstreaming past Cluzel and Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) on the way into the Adelaide hairpin on Lap 2. The astonishing WorldSSP title battle took another unbelievable twist on Lap 4 though as Caricasulo, enjoying a two-second lead lost the front end of his Yamaha at Turn 13. He did remount and appeared on course to salvage some points before a second crash at Estoril ended his afternoon.
The championship fight now seemed to swinging in Jules Cluzel’s direction but the Frenchman couldn’t keep a busy pack of riders at bay. Isaac Vinales hit the front for the first time shortly after half distance with Lucas Mahias following through into second, setting the stage for a battle between the two that would keep us guessing all the way until the finish. Cluzel was also powerless to prevent Ayrton Badovini and a fast-finishing Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) moving through, leaving him to dispute fifth place with Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
The corner speed of the Kawasaki in the hands of Lucas Mahias was proving a formidable prospect, with the 2017 champion cutting underneath Vinales at Estoril on Lap 8. Although the Spaniard would out-drag his opponent to the Adelaide hairpin, Mahias regained the advantage after a superior run through Imola put him in position to outbrake the Yamaha into Turn 13.
The race reached a thrilling conclusion with Vinales regaining the lead on the penultimate lap, but cheered on by the enthusiastic French crowd, Mahias shadowed the Spaniard through the final lap before diving up the inside into Turn 13. Vinales had one last opportunity on the approach to the tight right-hander of Turn 15 but Mahias took the perfect defensive line, covering the inside and holding on for Kawasaki’s first WorldSSP victory since Kenan Sofuoglu at Portimao in 2017, ending Yamaha’s 24-race winning streak in the class.
The battle for third was also settled at Turn 15 on the last lap with Ayrton Badovini outbraking Raffaele De Rosa as MV Agusta missed out on a first podium since Imola. Hikari Okubo got the better of Jules Cluzel for fifth in the end with the GMT94 YAMAHA rider scoring ten valuable points to keep his slim championship hopes alive, closing to within 38 of series leader Randy Krummenacher.
Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) followed his team-mate home in seventh with Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) producing an impressive recovery ride on his return from injury, climbing from 21st on the grid to finish eighth. Polesitter Kyle Smith ultimately faded back to ninth, although this result was enough to crown him Europe Supersport Cup winner for 2019. Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) completed a top ten which included all four manufacturers.
The Supersport World Championship now moves on to the Motul Argentinian Round at the Circuito San Juan Villicum with Randy Krummenacher retaining his ten-point lead over team-mate Federico Caricasulo. Jules Cluzel still holds an outside chance of the crown with two races remaining.
P1 – Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
“This was my target when I started the weekend, and this is the best place for me to win. It was a very strange race. I made a good first start and I was at the front, but then the red flag came out. At the restart, I lost some positions, but I kept calm. Randy crashed just in front of me, and I thought that I would crash too. I lost the front group, but I was able to come back and then I had a great fight with many riders. I am not strong on the straights, but I am quite confident in the corners, and there is where I was able to overtake and win!”.
#FRAWorldSBK WorldSSP at Circuit de Nevers Magny Cours – Race
1. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
2. Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) +0.264
3. Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) +1.050
More, from another press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
The Five-Star Champion:
Jonathan Rea clinches 2019 WorldSBK title
Northern Irish rider seals the deal at Magny-Cours for championship number five
After starring in one of the most remarkable comebacks in motorcycling racing history, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) can finally lay claim to being the first-ever five-time MOTUL FIM Superbike World Champion, securing the 2019 crown in sensational fashion at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours.
The rider from Ballymena, Northern Ireland has overcome perhaps his most formidable foe to date on course to take his fifth crown. Álvaro Bautista’s (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) blazing introduction to the series left many onlookers startled and ready to hail the start of a new, #19-led era. But Rea faced the challenge like a true champion by biding his time, picking up podium finishes and waiting for the moment to pounce. When he did it was with razor-sharp precision, turning around a 61-point deficit in the blink of an eye and wrapping up his fifth title with two rounds to spare.
With this title win, Rea becomes the undisputed king of the WorldSBK history books, holding a record number of championship wins, race wins and career points, amongst other accolades, picked up in his 11-season-long WorldSBK career.
As has been the case for several other greats of two-wheel racing, Rea’s first steps in the paddock were made in WorldSSP. Taking the runner-up spot in his rookie season, he was quick to make the step up to World Superbike one season later alongside Ten Kate Honda, marking the start of a six-year-long, character-building spell onboard the Fireblade.
His performances in each one of those seasons propelled him to the factory Kawasaki bike ahead of the 2015 season. The rest, as they say, is history. No matter the circumstances, the rivals, the regulations, Rea has always managed to finish the calendar year on top.
Yet one could forgive him for rating this championship win above the others, considering how the year began. Pre-season testing had Rea as the odds-on favourite for the title, but all that changed once Phillip Island rolled around: Bautista romped through to an incredible three race wins, leaving Rea and new teammate Leon Haslam to scrap for the remaining podium positions. Buriram and Aragon confirmed that this was not a one-off, and despite Rea’s best efforts, he was again forced to be content with the second position.
Many of his fans set their faith on Round 4 at Assen – Rea’s favourite playground since joining WorldSBK. Yet after a stroke of misfortune in qualifying (and the Saturday snowstorm saga), he was faced with an uphill battle from eighth on the grid. Not only were the race wins just out of reach, but he was also beaten to the line in Race 2 by home hero Michael van der Mark.
Four rounds and 53 points down, a short-lived revival began at Imola with his first two wins of 2019, yet once again luck abandoned Rea with the cancellation of Race 2, denying him a possible hat-trick of wins.
Jerez followed four weeks later, and with it came perhaps the most frustrating moment of the 32-year-old’s year, if not his Kawasaki career. Riding in fourth in Race 1, he misjudged a move over Alex Lowes in the final lap, knocking the Yamaha rider into the gravel. A clearly distraught Rea has knocked off the Race 1 podium and forced to start the Tissot Superpole Race from the back of the grid – any title challenge was on its last legs.
And then Bautista crashed in Race 2. Rea finished in second place again, but little did that matter. There was hope; the comeback was on.
With Misano came the rain and with the rain came a water masterclass by Rea to reduce the gap with his Ducati rival by a further nine points. A bizarre tumble in the Superpole Race handed the momentum back to Bautista, but it ended abruptly as the Spaniard crashed out of Race 2 in identical circumstances to Jerez. This time, Rea managed to beat Toprak Razgatlioglu to the line to take his fifth win of the year.
Donington Park was next on the calendar and as the rain returned to the fore, so did Rea to the championship lead: Bautista high-sided out, the Kawasaki rider won unopposed, and suddenly the #1 was back on top. On Sunday, he reinforced that statement with the first hat-trick of his WorldSBK career.
The dream run continued at Laguna Seca while Bautista endured his own personal nightmare. Two wins and a runner-up spot for Rea to the Spaniard’s three DNFs meant a 57-point swing in 24 hours and one half of the championship trophy in the Northern Irishman’s hands. From 61 down to 81 up in just ten races, this was now his title to lose.
The return from the summer break saw Bautista return to winning ways at Portimao, but not before Rea had won two races of his own, leaving the gap at 91 points with three rounds remaining.
Needing a 125-point lead out of Magny-Cours to mathematically confirm his championship win, it may have seemed like a tall order to finish the fight off in Europe – but then again, so did winning the championship at all a few months earlier. France and WorldSBK title win go hand in hand, and once again, against all odds, 2019 was no exception: Rea was crowned for the third year in succession at Magny-Cours, signing off on a five-star season with two rounds to spare.
Is anyone capable of unseating the Northern Irish legend? Congratulate Jonathan Rea via social media with the hashtag #Rea5Stars.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK):
“I can quite believe it. It has been an incredible year so far, and a year I have never given up, I’ve kept believing in myself, believing in my bike, believing in my crew and believing in my effort. After the fourth race, it was so tough to keep turning up when you know that he is going to be so difficult to win, but in the mid-season, we turn things around. I don’t have so many words right now, because I did not expect this today. I had no idea what was going to happen. If I would win today, what was the point situation, but I knew when I got the sign that Bautista was out that I could mathematically have the chance. And I did it! Thanks to all my team, all my family and all the people who have been working with me, Kawasaki, the sponsors, all the people that made this possible. It’s a huge team effort, and I couldn’t be here without them”.
More, from another press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
The wonderkid from Madrid: Manuel González, 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion
17-year-old prodigy seals title win with a race to spare
Manuel González (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) has asserted himself as one of the most exciting young riders in motorcycling racing by winning the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship with one round to go, after taking 2nd place in Magny-Cours in a hair-raising battle throughout the race.
The ParkinGO Team rider follows in the footsteps of Marc García and Ana Carrasco, 2017 & 2018 champions respectively, and extends the Spanish domination of the feeder series. Unlike his compatriots, however, González has managed to avoid any last-second drama by securing the title with ease, in a season that has established the teenager as one to watch inside the WorldSBK paddock.
Turning seventeen just last August, González’s staggering precocity has led him to shatter record after record on course to his maiden title win. His path to World Supersport 300 glory began in 2017 when he participated in the final race of the season as a wildcard, becoming the second youngest starter that season. The soon-to-be European Talent Cup champion qualified in a brilliant sixth and was amongst the leading riders when a technical issue forced him to enter pit-lane early on.
It was a first – if brief – glimpse into the teenager’s talents. Many more examples were to follow in 2018 as González joined the series full-time on a Yamaha YZF-R3. After a somewhat troubled start, with three no-scores inside the opening five races and a best result of ninth, he sprang to life in the last three rounds with consecutive third-place finishes. The first of those, at Misano, made him the youngest rider to feature on a WorldSSP300 podium, one month before his 16th birthday.
González was recruited by Kawasaki ParkinGO for his sophomore season, switching machinery in the process. This proved to be a particularly inspired move: on his debut at MotorLand Aragon, he took his first pole position, before romping to a 0.058s win over Hugo De Cancellis and shattering García’s record as the youngest WorldSSP300 race winner by a full ten months.
History repeated itself seven days later at Assen. Second on the grid, the teenager set himself up beautifully in the final lap, surging from the back of the leading group and beating homeboy Scott Deroue in another close finish to take win number two. One week, 50 points: perfection.
The cancellation of the Imola race led the WorldSSP300 grid into back-to-back races at Jerez, the same venue that witnessed González’s first steps in the series less than two years before. Fourth at the flag in Race 1 behind previous champions Garcia and Carrasco as well as Deroue, the Spaniard was not going to take their challenge lying down. Smartening up for the final lap of Race 2, González bossed his way into the lead at the final turn and stole win number three. The higher the stakes rose, the more he upped his game.
Carrasco would win next time around in Misano, however a cool second from González ensured that he would make it to the summer break with a cozy double-digit buffer, even in the worst-case scenario that immediately followed. The championship leader damaged his shoulder on a wet track at Donington Park, falling awkwardly before his own Kawasaki dived on top of him. González suffered his first no-score of the season – yet it was one that barely rattled the Spaniard, as none of his three closest contenders managed to capitalise on his misfortune.
Two months down the line, González faced his first shot at world championship glory. It failed to materialise there, yet he left the Portuguese rollercoaster as champion in all but name, after picking up second behind Deroue. Twelve points over two rounds would be enough – González did it in one, at Magny-Cours.
Previous WorldSSP300 champions needed an eleventh-hour surge to write their names into WorldSBK history. Not ‘Manugas’. He has passed every test with flying colours and can now sit back and enjoy the final event in Qatar devoid of any pressure, while he patiently awaits the new chapter of what promises to be an illustrious career.
Congratulate González on social media using the hashtag #GASChamp
Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team)
“It has been almost a perfect season. We were on the podium almost in every race this year, we got several wins, and we did only one zero. I don’t have words to describe this. It has been incredible! Thanks to all my family, for all the sacrifices that we did and thanks to all the people that were there for me, my team, Kawasaki. Thank you so much!”.
WorldSSP300 Race at Magny Cours
1. Ana Carrasco Kawasaki
2. Manuel Gonzalez Kawasaki +0.233
3. Scott Deroue Kawasaki +0.430
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team:
A difficult final day for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in Magny – Cours
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team headed into the final two European races of the 2019 season looking to replicate the podium success in yesterdays race 1 with Tom Sykes. Tom lined up on the grid in P6 with team mate Markus Reiterberger in P19. Tom again got off to a credible start slipping into P4 on the opening lap. Tom from lap 3 began to fade backwards and with grip issues for the BMW S 1000 RR he would end the finishing the race in P8. Markus Reiterberger’s weekend did not improve from yesterdays race 1 as he lined up on the 7th row however found the race difficult. Markus ended his race in P17 again just missing out on the points.
The final race of the weekend approached and with the amended grid position for the top 9, this meant Tom Sykes would take his new position in P8. Again Sykes got his BMW S 1000 RR off the line well but couldn’t manage the pace of the front runners and with some speed deficits found it difficult to hold positions – final result P8. Markus’s weekend was looking very difficult to improve and with starting from P19 he had his work cut out. Reiterberger however managed to salvage a point from the final race finishing in P15.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will now turn their attention to the final two rounds where they team will jet off to South America and finally Qatar for the last race of 2019.
“The Superpole race was quite difficult for all of us. Tom struggled a bit on the faster parts of the circuit. He settled into a position we had to be happy with although it was a bit disappointing after yesterday. Markus really struggled and overall it has been a difficult event for him. In the main race, Tom got a really good start and was with the front guys but sadly he could not find the confidence and performance he had yesterday. He was a second per lap slower and finished way off the top-3 or top-4. The whole team needs to have a look at the data and the information and try to understand why this happened. After such a great Saturday it was disappointing to take a step backwards and we need to try to rectify this for Argentina.”
BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“Sunday was disappointing for us. The set-up changes we tried out in the warm-up did not have the desired effect for Tom. We were unable to back up the performance we showed on Saturday. The track temperatures were significantly higher, even in the earlier Superpole race. After a strong start, we fell back through the field. We also started strongly in race two, but then lost roughly a second per lap to our rivals, which meant we had no chance of challenging for a spot on the podium. We are lacking mechanical grip when accelerating in the lean position. This becomes all the more important as soon as the track temperature starts to rise. We must now see whether we can react in time for the next races, in order to learn as much as possible and to end the season strongly.”
“I am obviously a bit disappointed with today but we were struggling in certain areas with the bike and I really tried to ride around some of the issues. But we certainly made some progress in terms of a couple of things and feel quite confident in some areas and just need to work again now on another part of the chassis to enable us to be stronger over the distance. So it was a slightly disappointing day given the result on paper but also a day where we got a lot of information so hopefully we can build on this and move forward. There are a couple of difficult rounds coming up for us but we keep our head down, keep trying to progress and just keep the information coming before we go into the winter break.”
“The weekend was really tough. I think that our results do not show our potential and are for sure not where we want to be – neither me nor the team. We need to find a solution to improve my feeling for the bike so I can ride faster. I want to reach the top ten – that is my goal for the final two rounds of the season. I want to thank the entire team for their hard work and sorry for the bad results.”
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Rea Five Times Champion After Race Two Win
Jonathan Rea (KRT) took an all-time record fifth WorldSBK Riders’ Championship win today after finishing second in the Tissot-Superpole race and then winning Race Two. Leon Haslam (KRT) was ninth in the short race and then seventh in Race Two. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) added the ‘sprint’ race win to his Saturday Race One victory, before a no score in Race Two.
After overcoming a tough early season Jonathan Rea became the World Championship for a record fifth time in the best way possible – with a race win. No other rider has won five titles in this category, never mind five in succession.
The eventual timing of Jonathan’s latest title success was somewhat unexpected, despite his strong podiums showings in the first two Magny Cours races. Rea had a genuine opportunity to take the crown again after his only title rival Alvaro Bautista collided with Razgatlioglu and had to retire. Jonathan’s race two victory was his 12th win of the season.
Rea had aimed to win all the French WorldSBK races before the final contest of the weekend and he finally took his 83rd career victory by 0.862 seconds from Michael van der Mark. Jonathan’s latest title win came with two rounds to spare.
Haslam had a difficult Sunday after his Race One crash on Saturday but fought as hard as he could, against an aggravated shoulder injury and issues under braking, to record ninth and seventh place finishes today.
Rea’s championship points total is now 544, while Haslam is sixth overall after Razgatlioglu’s first two race wins in WorldSBK.
The next round is a flyaway event, and will be held at the El Villicum circuit in Argentina, between the 11th and 13th of October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am just super-happy. It has been the biggest challenge to date and we have just chipped away. The beginning of the season was really tough, to be beaten the way we were. But to mentally accept the challenge and keep working as a team – also away from the track – we kept strong. I have worked and kept working. We all go to each weekend looking for the opportunity and we have had lots of opportunities this year, and won a lot of races. It is beyond my wildest dreams to win the title here because after four rounds I would have bitten your hand off if you told me I was going to be champion. With yesterday’s race being quite chaotic I was nervous going into today because I did not understand the points situation. The target all weekend was to try and – realistically – win it in Argentina, so we could go to Qatar with less pressure. But we got another opportunity today and I felt a little bit better with the bike compared to yesterday. With the temperature going up the pace was not so fast I was able to manage the bike, and I could see my opportunity with Michael. He was struggling in some areas where we were strong. And we were weaker in some areas where he was strong. So I was putting that all together, learning that for a few laps and then putting my head down and getting the job done. Massive thanks to Kawasaki, the team, my sponsors, my family, all my friends and everybody in my corner. I am the guy taking the plaudits but it is such a big team effort and I am fortunate to be in this position.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “It was a tough day. I knew it was going to be tough, especially with my main issue this year being stopping. There are five or six places on track where you have to make a maximum stop. I knew Toprak’s strength was there, so for me that was kind of predictable with the way he works the bike. For my part, from yesterday to the third race today I found a lot more consistent and better pace but it just was not enough. I had a battle with Tom Sykes and managed to beat him in the last race but we were missing two or three tenths of a second at least.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) won the sprint race from Jonathan today but crashed out of Race Two after an early rear end slide and then a collision with the following Alvaro Bautista. Toprak’s two race wins in France take him to fifth in the championship, on 260 points, and contributed to the fact that a Kawasaki rider won every major race at Magny Cours.
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 15th and then a fine tenth despite starting each Sunday race from a lowly grid position. Jordi is now 11th overall. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) will face a home round next time out in Argentina, but on Sunday in France he scored 14th and 11th place finishes. He is ranked 15th overall.
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
World Superbike at Magny-Cours: Chaz Davies twice finishes fourth for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team, while Álvaro Bautista picks up a fifth place and a DNF in race 2
Unfortunately, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team riders, Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies, were unable to obtain the results they had hoped for in the French Round of the Superbike World Championship at the Magny-Cours circuit, which saw Jonathan Rea crowned WSBK champion for the fifth time in a row.
After the rain of the first two days, Davies took home two fourth places in both of today’s races which were held on a dry track. Following a good run in the Superpole Race, in race 2 the Welsh rider was lapping at the same pace as the leaders when he was involved in the incident between Razgatlioglu and Bautista. This unfortunate episode meant that Chaz lost precious seconds which he was never able to make up again.
Álvaro Bautista instead crossed the line with a good fifth place in the Superpole Race but in race 2 was forced to retire because of the impact with the bike of Toprak who crashed at Turn 13.
In the Riders’ standings Álvaro Bautista lies in second place, 129 points behind the winner of the title Rea, while Chaz Davies remains in seventh place with 223 points.
Ducati still holds on to second place in the Constructors’ standings, and the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team is classified second in the Teams’ standings.
World SBK now heads off to South America for the penultimate event on the calendar, where from 11 to 13 October the Argentinean Round will be held at the El Villicum circuit near the city of San Juan.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #7) – 4th / 4th “In both races today I finished in fourth place, which in itself is not a bad result, but I feel I could have got a lot more. In race 2 I almost got caught up in the incident between Toprak and Álvaro so took avoiding action by going off the track. Unfortunately, I came off the grass at four seconds back and finished the race with the same gap that I was unable to make up. It was so frustrating not to get the chance to fight for the win, because the pace was there.”
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 5th / DNF
“Fortunately physically I’m OK after the crash, I’m just a bit disappointed because I think in race 2 I was able to fight for the win. For sure the weekend was tough, it was a new track that I’d never seen before and there was very little time to ride in dry conditions. Yesterday in the first race I managed to improve the feeling with the track and made up a lot of positions, while today in race 2 I made a good start and felt really good with the bike up at the front. Unfortunately, I was involved in Razgatlioglu’s crash at Turn 13 and his mistake caused my retirement. It’s a pity to finish in this way but it’s all part of racing. Congratulations to Jonathan Rea because he had a great season. During the championship Jonathan has always been able to get the best out of every situation, and for sure we didn’t lose the title because of this race.”