KRT man wrapped up an unprecedented third successive World title on Saturday before an early retirement from Sunday’s race
The Pirelli French Round at Magny-Cours saw Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea become the first rider in history to win three consecutive WorldSBK titles with an astonishing 16-second victory in Race 1, before a dramatic incident in Race 2 ended his Sunday efforts early.
The Northern Irishman felt he had the pace for another victory in the second race of the weekend, coming from ninth on the grid, but a crash early in proceedings for Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) would ultimately halt Rea in his tracks. With the newly crowned triple champion clipping Laverty’s Aprilia RSV4 RF, Rea sustained damage to a boot and to a footpeg on his Kawasaki ZX-10RR and he was forced to return to the pit lane.
The footpeg had completely broken off and Rea took a blow to his right foot so was therefore forced to retire from the race. However, afterwards medical tests showed no serious injury had occurred and the KRT man can now look forward to four more races this season with his third successive title already secured.
“Without the incident that put me out of the race we could have been fighting for the win,” Rea said after Race 2. “My pace all weekend in the dry has been a little bit of a step ahead of the others. The conditions were a little intermittent throughout the race, so it is hard to say how it would have gone. But I was confident to be able to race with Chaz (Davies). Wet or dry we have set the level this weekend.”
“The good news is that I have had some checks on my right foot and nothing is broken. I hit something really solid on the other bike, as it has broken skin on my foot and it was enough to take my footpeg completely off; the whole set-up. So I am very lucky and it could have been a lot worse.”