Two Sunday Podiums For Rea
Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea completed his second triple podium weekend of the 2023 WorldSBK season by taking two third places on the final day of race action at Magny Cours.
The opening race on Sunday in France was the Tissot-Superpole ‘sprint’ held over ten laps. Rea was running just behind the top three battle when the two official Ducati riders touched, and Michael Ruben Rinaldi crashed out.
Jonathan was up to second at that point as Alvaro Bautista had lost his track position but he was unable to catch eventual race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu. Rea would finally finish third as Bautista came back through to second.
In the last WorldSBK race of the weekend Rea was in a strong situation in the early laps but Dominique Aegerter was lying in a dangerous position on the track after a collision with another rider. The first attempted Race Two was soon red flagged and then re-run over 17 laps. The riders took their new grid slots from where they finished the red flagged ‘race.’
The fight for podium places between Rea and his old rival Toprak Razgatlioglu was as intense as ever in the restart. Bautista had made a break to take the race win but Rea and Razgatlioglu attacked at every opportunity in their efforts to finish second. Eventually Razgatlioglu would be the runner-up and Rea was a close third.
Three podium places for Rea made Magny Cours his second best weekend of the season and consolidated his grip on third place in the championship. He is now 34 points ahead of fourth placed Andrea Locatelli with 290 points.
The next round takes place at Motorland Aragon, between 29 September and 1 October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really happy to have taken three podium finishes this weekend. From Friday I felt like I had quite a good rhythm but then we didn’t go in the best direction with the set-up. In Race One and even in the Superpole Race I was happy with the bike set-up but I was not able to really ‘dance.’ In Race Two I felt much better from the get-go. I felt like I could do everything to be with Alvaro but he was just on a different level. In the first start of the final race he was making a lot of mistakes but just keeping the lap time. As soon as he cleaned up his riding style, he was gone. Nothing to do really, so I was quite happy that Toprak wasn’t just coming through on me. I could see on my pitboard that he was there behind me, so I thought that maybe today my pace was OK. In the last few laps I was fighting with him a lot - and enjoying it! Toprak in Magny Cours is really strong so I think it does show that we had a positive trend over the weekend, making the bike better. I could stop it quite well and we had good mechanical traction.”