The Kawasaki man sits 116 points ahead of Chaz Davies and 136 in front of Michael van der Mark
With three rounds to go, the first shot is here: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) could leave the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours as a four-time World Champion. The Northern Irish rider has reached his best form at the most crucial moment of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season, and if his rivals can’t prevent it Rea will once again be crowned champion in France, just like he was last season.
The stakes are higher than ever, and the weekend promises to be the most unpredictable yet. One thing is clear, however: this is Jonathan Rea’s title to lose. The Northern Irishman said it himself after the Portimao round and, not one to feel pressure, he intends to go about his weekend just like any other: “I have incredible memories from last year and this weekend marks the first opportunity we have to try to clinch a world championship. But, I am trying to put that to the back of my mind and attack the weekend like every other weekend – work methodically with my family, all the team and our bike to find the best race set-up we can”.
Rea adds: "The target is simple, like at Portimao and the last few rounds, to go out and try to win two races”.
With two full races around Magny-Cours ahead, here is what the KRT rider needs to do to take the title back home.
What needs to happen for Rea to win the title after Race One:
For Rea to claim the championship on Saturday, he would need to end the day with a 125-point advantage over the rider in second position in the standings; in other words, score nine points more than Chaz Davies.
This opens several scenarios. The fastest would be a race win for Rea, which would force Davies to finish in second to delay any celebrations. A runner-up spot for the KRT rider would still net him the title if Davies crosses the line in fifth or lower, while for Rea to take the championship after a third-place finish, he would need the Ducati to make it to the line in ninth or worser.
Rea wins title after Race One if:
- Rea 1st; Davies 3rd or worse
- Rea 2nd; Davies 5th or worse
- Rea 3rd; Davies 9th or worse
- Rea 4th; Davies 12th or worse, vdM 2nd or worse
- Rea 5th; Davies 14th or worse, vdM 2nd or worse
- Rea 6th; Davies 15th or worse, vdM 2nd or worse
- Rea 7th; Davies 16th or worse, vdM 2nd or worse
What needs to happen for Rea to win the title after Race Two:
Should Rea not already be the official champion by the time Race Two rolls around, the odds are still low for him to take the crown by the end of Sunday. Considering the variables that may be thrown his way on Saturday, the numbers are clear: Rea needs to end the weekend with a 100-point advantage at the top of the standings. The easiest path would be to take 34 points or more over the course of both races, which would mathematically guarantee Rea a 100-point gap or higher. But he could settle for fewer points if his rivals’ results fall in his favour. If things don’t go to plan, the Northern Irishman will face his second chance in two weeks at the new San Juan Circuit.
Will Rea make it four in a row? Find out this weekend at the Acerbis French Round, live on WorldSBK VideoPass.