Championship protagonists react as the title battle heads to the final round

Sunday, 4 October 2020 15:49 GMT

Race 2 results from Magny-Cours means the battle for the 2020 WorldSBK Riders’ Championship will be decided in Estoril

Having won the first two races at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the Pirelli French Round, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) went into Race 2 knowing a podium finish would be enough to clinch the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship crown ahead of Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati).

With Rea starting on pole position and getting off the line well, with Redding in fourth on the grid, it looked like it may happen and coincide with Rea’s 100th victory. Redding had other ideas, however, and was soon in the lead of the race with Rea slipping down the order into fourth place; finishing behind Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati).

The results mean Rea heads to the season-ending Estoril Round with a 59-point advantage over Redding with 62 available. Rea will be crowned a six-time consecutive World Champion if he finishes Race 1 at Estoril with a 37-point advantage over Redding.

Discussing the latest twist in the title race, Rea said: “Whilst I love Magny-Cours, it would be nice to go somewhere else and have that magical feeling again. Now we can really allow ourselves to think about being Champions because it’s very close. I have to score two points which is a great position to be in entering the final round with three races. It shows the incredible job the Kawasaki Racing Team has done this year and we keep pushing. Looking forward to the challenge.”

Redding is hoping the lack of racing at Estoril could add yet more twists in a thrilling battle, as he said: “It’s one of those things. I think Jonathan has more pressure than me in this situation because, in the end, only he can make the mistake. I go there, nobody really knows the track, the manufacturers haven’t really tested there so nobody knows. It’ll be interesting to see who can get up and sort it out the fastest to score the maximum points in the race. We’ll give everything we can, we will fight to the end.”

You can follow all the action from the Estoril Round using the WorldSBK VideoPass!