French rider claims fourth Magny-Cours victory and closes gap with Cortese
Jules Cluzel (NRT) returned to the top of the rostrum in emphatic fashion at his home track of Magny-Cours, keeping championship leader Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) at bay for over half the race and cutting down the German’s lead to just 11 points.
The French rider arrived in Magny-Cours with a point to prove after scoring just 13 points over the previous two rounds – albeit through no fault of his own two weeks ago at the Portuguese Round. Taking the lead inside the first lap over fellow countryman Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Cluzel resisted several attacks from Cortese at the Adelaide Hairpin, coming out stronger on the exit each time.
25 points more in the bag and a very pleased Cluzel: “It was a nice race, a really long one, leading from the beginning. It was quite tough, but I’m so happy about my race. No mistakes, just a tough fight with Sandro”.
“Our race pace was fast. I gave the lap times to everybody because I was leading, I think my lap time was quite strong all race, I’m proud about the race”, he adds.
Cluzel managed the pressure magisterially – although one miscalculation nearly cost him dearly: “I made a small mistake, because I thought that the penultimate lap was the last one – then I went “Oh, no checkered flag…”, so I pushed again for the last one”.
The NRT rider has now won four of his five appearances at Magny-Cours in WorldSSP: 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. With even years seemingly his forte, the Frenchman jokingly suggests that he may pass on the 2019 French round: “You know what, I may not even be here next year because if I win every two years, why would I come next year!”.
Catch all the highlights from Cluzel’s fourth win of the season on WorldSBK VideoPass.