WorldSBK: Redding Halts Rea’s Title Charge with a dominant performance in Race 2
Scott Redding delivered a timely win to delay World Title success for Jonathan Rea.
Redding found form in the final race of the French WorldSBK weekend to make Jonathan wait another two weeks for the next chance to seize the sixth-straight title of his career in the season finale at Estoril.
Rea originally lead from pole, but it wasn’t the usual domination that we saw; the Kawasaki rider was being hunted down by title rival Redding, who struck on lap 6, taking the lead and never looking back. Redding continued to extend his advantage, pushing on in the best track conditions of the weekend, gaining confidence with the Pirelli wet tyre and ending his Magny-Cours weekend strongly, in so doing extending the WorldSBK title battle out just that bit further.
Rea was seemingly struggling in the evolving conditions, making mistakes in the low-traction corners and running wide multiple times at the tight turn-14 hairpin; he would go on to lose out on the podium to Loris Baz – who achieved yet another podium in second position – and Chaz Davies, who held the Kawasaki man off in the closing stages for third. Baz followed Redding to the line with a home podium, after appearing to rectify the electronics issues that the Ten Kate outfit has been suffering.
Michael van der Mark headed the PATA Yamaha charge in fifth. Van der Mark seemed to gain time on Rea as the championship leader’s rear tyre continued to falter; but, to the Dutchman’s frustration, Van der Mark had to settle for fifth after a podium in the Tissot Superpole race, while Alex Lowes – a double-podium sitter this weekend – had to make do with seventh in the final race, after starting well but fading throughout. Garrett Gerloff got the better of fellow Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu, who had struggled all weekend after a tough crash at the previous round – while Tom Sykes recovered from his technical issues in the Superpole Race to land a top ten finish on an otherwise desperate weekend for BMW.
After today, Rea is now 59 points clear of Redding with only the final round in Portugal remaining; Estoril is a track that the ARUBA.IT rider has experience at, as the MotoGP paddock visited the Portuguese venue until 2012. Rea finishing fourth meant the Kawasaki rider just shy of the 62 points he needed to put the crown out of the Ducati man’s reach.
WorldSBK returns for a final time in two-weeks at Estoril to round off the 2020 season, surely a weekend of crowning glory for Jonathan Rea, but this is motorcycle racing and anything can happen, and of course, it usually does. The Portuguese round kicks off on the weekend of the 16th-18th of October, for the series finale.
Feature Image: Aruba.it Racing
Full Race Two Result: