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.

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:

11 Jonathan ReaKawasaki 
222 Alex LowesKawasaki 2.387
360 Michael van der MarkYamaha 3.206
445 Scott ReddingDucati 3.348
57 Chaz DaviesDucati 7.042
676 Loris BazYamaha 8.555
721 Michael Ruben RinaldiDucati 11.164
831 Garrett GerloffYamaha 12.628
954 Toprak RazgatliogluYamaha 19.836
1036 Leandro MercadoDucati 20.341
1191 Leon HaslamHonda 20.455
1212 Xavi ForesKawasaki 26.570
1320 Sylvain Barrier Ducati 27.360
1419 Alvaro BautistaHonda 29.826
1550 Eugene LavertyBMW 31.213
1653Valentin DebiseKawasaki 32.239
1797 Samuele CavalieriDucati 41.527
1834Xavier PinsachKawasaki 50.504
1913 Takumi TakahashiHonda 57.837
2066 Tom SykesBMW 
 64 Federico CaricasuloYamaha 
View full results

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