11-13 France – Magny-Cours – WorldSBK France (1): Jonathan Rea, 2018 world champion (2017, 2016 and 2015) – Pre-owned KAWASAKI


WorldSBK France (1): Jonathan Rea, 2018 world champion (2017, 2016 and 2015)

11-13 France - Magny-Cours - WorldSBK France (1): Jonathan Rea, 2018 world champion (2017, 2016 and 2015) - Pre-owned KAWASAKI

A square of Aces … of the handlebars! This is what Jonathan Rea has become this Saturday afternoon at Magny-Cours, winning a 13th victory this season 2018. The Kawasaki n ° 1 rider takes his fourth world title in a row, never before seen in World Superbike.

Kawa-bunga !

After dominating the first day of free practice, the two Kawasaki factory riders engaged in a magnificent duel in the sun this afternoon in the Superpole. Having emerged first from the pits to embark on his second qualifying lap, Jonathan Rea swept the lap record signed by Sykes in 2014.

The only rider to have fallen below 1 ’36 in the Superbike category, the ruthless "JR" clenched his fist and then thought he would hold pole position for the race … for the fourth world title! At the same time, however, Sykes leaves the Kawasaki box..

Stung to the quick, the Ninja n ° 66 covers the 4411 meters even faster than his teammate "Number One", thus setting a new track record: 1 ‘35.696, or 15 hundredths better than Johnny … and not far one second faster than Savadori who completes the first row !

On the second French line, the Ducati of Xavi Forés ("independent" rider) and Chaz Davies (factory rider) frame the Yamaha of Alex Lowes (also official rider). In the middle of the third, between the young and fiery Rinaldi (junior pilot) and Razgatlioglu (rookie pilot) rises Loris Baz (giant pilot!).

At the controls of his stormy BMW, our favorite n ° 76 hopes to shine in front of his public, extremely sparse on the grandstand in front of the pits, a little more numerous on those which skirt the braking of Adelaide and the climb to the Water Tower..

Note the presence, at the back of the grid, of the 2018 French champion Jérémy Guarnoni and the ex-Brazilian champion Matthieu Lussiana who wears the No. 121 in tribute to Maxime Berger, who died a year ago already, almost a day for day…

DepartureTom Sykes took off perfectly from his pole and dived far ahead of Rea in the first corner. Johnny quickly got back on Tom but couldn’t win under Adelaide’s braking. Behind the two Ninjas, Savadori retained his third place ahead of Forés, Lowes, Davies, Razgatlioglu, Rinaldi, Camier, Van de Mark. Baz completed the first 1st lap in eleventh place. Matthieu Lussiana gives up.

At the very start of the 2nd lap, Jonathan manages to slide his ZX-10RR under that of his teammate! The three-time world champion wants to win his fourth title with panache! Behind, Alex Lowes falls into the Lycée and leaves last. Rinaldi fell a few moments later because of an engine failure.

In front, Jonathan Rea takes off: n ° 1 Kawasaki is almost a second ahead of his teammate n ° 66 and his pursuer n ° 12 Ducati at the end of the 3rd lap! Savadori and his Aprilia n ° 32 try to hang on, a second further. Davies and his Ducati n ° 7 back up the peloton…

Chaz Davies, in fact, performs an unstoppable block-pass on Toprak Razgatlioglu at the Water Tower. The Welshman is only a second behind his Italian target (Savadori). Loris Baz is at the back of the same group: our best representative is behind Van der Mark and in front of Melandri.

Alone in the lead, Rea broke the lap record during the 6th lap. But Sykes responds in the next lap by beating the brand new mark of his teammate, taking away at the same time a pair of tenths of a second … One lap later, Rea’s acceleration again. The remote duel is on! Forés is relegated to a second and a half. He is especially threatened by Savadori…

Second in the championship but sixth on the track, Davies does not turn fast enough to hope to climb back up to the Top 5. Two good seconds behind the "dragon" Chaz, "Magic" Michael performs a half-muscular, half-desperate maneuver to blow up the Razgatlioglu lock. Dutch passes.

At the approach of halfway, Melandri in turn shoves the head of the Turkish, obviously unable to keep pace with Van der Mark. The successive attacks of the Yamaha n ° 60 and the Ducati n ° 33 allow the BMW n ° 76 (Baz!) To slip in the wake of the Kawasaki n ° 54.

Our international "Bazooka" pulled out on the 12th lap, passing Toprak on Adelaide braking … but much cleaner than the "macho" Marco! A quick glance in the retro: Guarnoni is penultimate, in 17th position, five seconds from the first point. Lowes always runs one turn of the leaders, to garner information.

More and more rapid over the course of the race, Davies climbs back on Savadori: in the 15th lap, the "Sunday driver" (understand, much better in the race than in qualifying) is one second behind his Italian rival who remains impeccably housed in the aspiration of the private Ducati de Forés.

In front, Rea slowly but surely increases his lead: with five laps to go, the northern Irishman has two and a half seconds ahead of his English teammate. Tom no longer seems able to retaliate and will have to be content with accompanying Johnny to victory and the title…

Conversely, five seconds behind Sykes, a monumental fight looms between three Italians: the two Bologna twin-cylinders (Fores and Davies) and between them, Noale’s V4 (Savadori). In the last laps unfortunately, the slight gaps between the three men are maintained. Levels are too tight in WSBK ?!

Attention therefore turns to the leader of the race, the championship and the discipline: Jonathan Rea ends his exemplary 2018 season with a 13th lucky victory, which also and above all brings him his fourth World Superbike coronation: as much as King Carl Fogarty, of which he broke the record of victories in the category (65 for "Foggy", 67 for Johnny now).

Tom Sykes must be satisfied with a second place which certainly allows him to climb to the bronze medal of the championship (currently around the neck of Michael van der Mark, 6th in the race today) … but is totally eclipsed by the exploits of his future ex-teammate.

Also almost unnoticed, the third place of Xavi Fores nevertheless marks the return of the Ducati Barni team rider on the podium: as a reminder, the Spanish n ° 12 was mounted three times on the "box" during the first three events in 2018. And never since.

Let us also underline the magnificent 4th place of Lorenzo Savadori on an Aprilia known to be very quick in qualifying but not very enduring in the race … He is ahead of very big names and motorcycles in the championship: Davies and Melandri on their Panigale, Van der Mark on his R1, Razgatlioglu on his Kawasaki.

Small disappointment for Loris Baz who was stung for ninth place in this first round on the penultimate lap by Laverty! The – only – BMW Althea driver was ejected from the World Top 10 by Savadori (115 points to 109). But there is one French round left tomorrow, and other races in Argentina and Qatar. !

If Rea’s fourth title this Saturday at Magny-Cours is not really a surprise, his celebration is one! The champion and his relatives – including Fabien Foret – have planned a staging on the theme of Poker: Jonathan naturally refines the bet with a square of Aces, for an Ace of the handlebars !

Result of the 1st WSBK 2018 race at Magny-Cours

11-13 France - Magny-Cours - WorldSBK France (1): Jonathan Rea, 2018 world champion (2017, 2016 and 2015) - Pre-owned KAWASAKI

11-13 France - Magny-Cours - WorldSBK France (1): Jonathan Rea, 2018 world champion (2017, 2016 and 2015) - Pre-owned KAWASAKI

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