WSBK: Jonathan Rea leads Kawasaki 1-2 in Superpole Race at a damp Magny-Cours.
Jonathan Rea has delivered another blow in the WorldSBK championship, taking his 99th win in a lights-to-flag victory.
Rain continued to fall for the WorldSBK class ahead of the Tissot Superpole Race. Familiar conditions for the riders so far this weekend, the thrills and spills would continue in the 10-lap sprint as Jonathan Rea lead a Kawasaki 1-2 over the line, ahead of Alex Lowes, who has found form at the Pirelli French Round.
BMW’s fortunes would not change in the Superpole race, despite making it out of turn one this time, the German manufacturer fell to 14th and 15th in the first few laps, owing to the inexperience of wet race conditions as their race ended early in Race One.
Jonathan Rea quickly took the lead from third on the grid, sweeping past Eugene Laverty heading into turn three, Estoril on the first lap. All too similar form would continue as Rea completed a lights-to-flag victory to take the 99th win of his illustrious career.
Scott Redding found familiar form once again in the wet conditions, he headed off of tenth-spot but quickly appeared to be the Redding of old, using his ability to quickly break the duct of the top five, sitting in fourth.
Garrett Gerloff showed similar aggression to yesterday’s Race One, battling hard on lap 2 and 3, running off the track twice at the Nurburging chicane, demoting himself down to the lower ends of the top 10.
Alex Lowes has had a standout weekend so far, battling hard in the Superpole race with team-mate Rea, holding a gap that fluctuated between half-a-second to a second, but it was clear to see that Lowes wanted to show why he earned his ride in the Factory Kawasaki squad, holding pace with Jonathan Rea, until the final few laps in the dying embers of the race where Rea pumped in a series of 1:47.6s to extend the gap on team-mate Lowes.
One man who came alive once again in the final few laps was Aruba.It’s Scott Redding, matching the leader’s pace to arrive behind Michael van der Mark in the final three laps. A last-lap battle ensued between the pair with Redding having his Panigale V4 locked on sideways into the turn 4 hairpin, overtaking the Dutchman but running wide, allowing the R1 back through. The battle seemed to be over, but no-one told Scott that, seeing him attack firstly into the Imola chicane and getting the move sealed going into the turn 14 hairpin. The PATA Yamaha WSBK rider did not give up, however, letting the brake off at turn 16 pushing Redding wide and securing the final podium spot, and a front-row grid spot for Race Three, which kicks off at 14:00PM.
Jonathan Rea further extended his championship lead to a massive 71-points after once again taking top honours in Magny-Cours, Rea will likely take the title in Race Three, with the opportunity to reach a century of wins, the first rider in history to do so.
Tissot Superpole Race Results:
Featured image credit: WorldSBK.com