Featured WSBK: Rea wins fifth consecutive world title after Race Two victory at Magny Cours

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Simon, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Simon

    Simon Professional storyteller
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    Mar 25, 2015
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    Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea secured a fifth straight World Superbike title with two rounds to spare after taking victory in Race Two at Magny-Cours; the Northern Irishman, 32, becomes the first rider to win five World Superbikes titles.

    His nearest title rival, Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, exited early in Race Two after being taken out by Turkish Puccetti Racing’s Toprak Razgatlioglu.

    Turkey’s Razgatlioglu beat Rea in Sunday morning’s Sprint Race which was same one-two as Saturday’s Race One.

    That meant victory for the Kawasaki rider in Race Two was guaranteed to land him the title if Spaniard Bautista finished outside the top 11.

    Bautista looked set to challenge strongly in Race Two before Razgatlioglu’s mistake on lap two led to both riders exiting which left Rea in second spot just behind Dutchman Michael van der Mark on the factory Yamaha.

    Rea and Van der Mark then swapped the lead before the Northern Irishman moved ahead on lap 11.

    The defending champion gradually edged clear of the Dutchman to secure the victory that ensured his five-in-a-row.

    Rea said: “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.”

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