Magny-Cours WSBK: Rea closes on title with Superpole win

Jonathan Rea moved one step closer to clinching his sixth World Superbike with a comfortable victory in a wet Superpole race at Magny-Cours on Sunday.

Magny-Cours WSBK: Rea closes on title with Superpole win
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Rea started third on the grid for the 10-lap encounter but took little time to snatch the lead from the BMWs that started first and second, clearing Tom Sykes at the very start before passing Eugene Laverty into the Turn 2 left-hander.

As the two BMW riders started slipping down the order, Alex Lowes took advantage of their declining form to move up to second, making it a Kwasaki 1-2 at the front of the field.

Lowes tried to challenge Rea for the lead on lap 6, having been encouraged by a first podium since Phillip Island season opener in Saturday’s race, but the 33-year-old immediately upped his pace to build a buffer over his Kawasaki teammate.

Lowes was unable to respond to Rea and slipped over a second behind with two laps to go, giving Rea a clear run to his 99th career victory.

Rea’s chief title rival Scott Redding made a brilliant getaway from 10th on the grid to move up to fifth on the opening lap, and then cleared the BMW of Sykes at Turn 1 on the following tour.

Redding caught the tail of Michael van der Mark’s Yamaha before the final lap but overshot the Adelaide corner, allowing the Yamaha rider back into third position.

Redding successfully passed van der Mark later in the lap, but van der Mark managed to retake the final podium position heading into Turn 15 after pushing the Ducati rider out wide.

Following the result, Rea is likely to seal a record sixth crown in the second full-distance race of the weekend later on Sunday.

Redding’s Ducati teammate Chaz Davies came on top in a lengthy battle with the Ten Kate Yamaha of Loris Baz to finish fifth, ahead of the satellite Go Eleven Panigale V4 R of Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Garrett Gerloff, who triggered the crash that wiped out both BMWs in Saturday’s Race 1, finished eighth on the GRT Yamaha after being forced wide earlier in the race by Baz.

Both factory Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu and Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Ducati) overtook the Honda of Leon Haslam at the final chicane to round out the top 10.

BMWs were unable to convert their front row start into a points finish, with Laverty trailing in 15th and Sykes pulling out of the race with three laps to go.

Superpole race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
2 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes
Kawasaki 2.387
3 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark
Yamaha 3.206
4 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding
Ducati 3.348
5 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies
Ducati 7.042
6 76 France Loris Baz
Yamaha 8.555
7 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 11.164
8 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 12.628
9 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 19.836
10 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado
Ducati 20.341
11 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 20.455
12 12 Spain Xavi Fores
Kawasaki 26.570
13 20 France Sylvain Barrier
Ducati 27.360
14 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 29.826
15 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty
BMW 31.213
16 53 Valentin Debise
Kawasaki 32.239
17 97 Italy Samuele Cavalieri
Ducati 41.527
18 34 Xavier Pinsach
Kawasaki 50.504
19 13 Japan Takumi Takahashi
Honda 57.837
20 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes
64 Italy Federico Caricasulo
Magny-Cours WSBK: Rea wins, BMWs wiped out at start
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