History was made at Magny-Cours today, when Jonathan Rea claimed an unprecedented third WorldSBK championship in a row. It was a momentous day for the Northern Irishman, who also notched up the 50th victory of his career.
“To be honest I can’t sum up my emotions,” said the triple champion. “I just feel super proud of my team and Kawasaki.”
“It has been such a team effort, and even though I’m the guy who rode it over the line, there have been so many people involved to make it possible. Every season is different and special in its own individual way.”
Race 1 in Portimao may have produced a lights-to-flag victory for Jonathan Rea, but Saturday also produced plenty of drama.
Rea’s teammate, Tom Sykes, has been forced to sit out the weekend after fracturing a finger in a nasty crash during FP3. The 2013 WorldSBK champion highsided over the top of Jones’ Leap, was thrown from his Kawasaki, and left battered and bruised from the crash.
Having been given some strong pain medication, it was ruled that Sykes would be unfit for the rest of the weekend. The Englishman was in low spirits after the incident but should be back in full fitness in the year future.
Chaz Davies had kept his cards close to his chest, prior to Race 1 in Germany at the Lausitzring. Starting from the second row of the grid the Ducati rider stormed into second at the first corner and into the lead on Lap 2.
For that point onwards he controlled the race with a well judged ride that showed remarkable consistency.
Grinding out fast lap after fast lap, he turned the screws on Jonathan Rea, until ultimately the Kawasaki rider had to concede the race, and allowed Davies to cruise to the finish line.
For Rea, the 20 points allowed him to extend his championship lead over Tom Sykes, but it was a hard fought and well earned podium.