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WORLD SUPERBIKES

Rea wraps third title in France

Race One

Jonathan Rea charged to an excellent victory at the Magny-Cours circuit in France on Saturday to secure a historic third consecutive WorldSBK title, crossing the line over 16 seconds ahead of second placed Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati), with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) finishing third.
Rea made a determined start from pole position and soon pulled clear of the rest of the pack, keeping the hammer down over the 21 laps of the race in the wet-drying conditions at the Pirelli French Round to remain unchallenged at the front. His impressive performance gave him a 12th victory of the season and saw him become the first ever rider to win three successive WorldSBK titles.

It was a truly gritty ride from Rea’s teammate Sykes as the Yorkshireman returned to action with a third place result, having had surgery on a finger injury less than two weeks ago - after a Portimao crash. Sykes completed the podium after just losing out on second place to Melandri in the final stages of the race.
Five seconds off the rostrum positions was Leon Camier who had another excellent ride for MV Agusta Reparto Corse. Another 19 seconds back on his compatriot Camier was Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) who rounded out the top five.

Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) were sixth and seventh respectively, whilst Davide Giugliano (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was the eighth rider home. Early in the race there was a crash for Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), which also saw Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) go down, but remarkably Dutchman Van der Mark fought back to finish ninth, ahead of Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati).

Race Two

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) took an excellent victory in Race 2 at the Pirelli French Round, seizing control in the opening stages and not looking back from there to eventually cross the line three seconds ahead of nearest challenger Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team). Completing the podium in third was Lowes’ Yamaha colleague Michael van der Mark after a great battle between the pair. Coming from 11th on the grid Davies charged through the field to register his 27th WorldSBK win in tricky conditions as rain fell sporadically over the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit during the race. Behind him Lowes and Van der Mark contested second place and the Englishman ultimately beat his Dutch teammate by 1.55s after an intriguing duel between the Yamaha duo.

Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) crossed the line fourth, followed by fifth placed Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati).
Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) all featured in the top ten. Early in the race Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) crashed at turn 16 and in the aftermath of his accident Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) appeared to clip Laverty’s Aprilia RSV4 RF. The newly crowned triple champion Rea then went back into pit lane and would retire from the race due to a damaged footpeg, whilst Laverty picked up his machine to finally finish the race 17th.
A technical problem at turn 15 for Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) ended his race at the halfway point, when the British rider was in contention for an elusive podium finish. Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was an unfortunate last lap crasher.

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