Rea holds off Baz for victory in dramatic WorldSBK Race 1
Thrilling wet race at Magny-Cours won by Jonathan Rea after the two BMW riders crash out from first and second on Lap 1
Thrilling action up and down the grid was the order of the day during Race 1 for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with wet conditions greeting the 21 riders for the opening race of the Pirelli French Round at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed his 10th victory of the 2020 season.
The drama started at Turn 1 as both Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and teammate Eugene Laverty both retired from the race on the opening lap; Laverty was taken out by a falling Sykes after the British rider was hit by Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team).
Don’t lose count!@jonathanrea smashes his 98th #WorldSBK victory!— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) October 3, 2020
What a performance, what consistency, what a rider! @KRT_WorldSBK #FRAWorldSBK pic.twitter.com/NdJYmBlTg8
The incident left Rea, Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and Gerloff battling for victory after Gerloff fell back following a mistake at Turn 5. Gerloff recovered to third place but a crash at the Turn 6-7 Nürburgring chicane forced him to retire; the American star taken to the medical centre for a check-up. It meant Rea and Baz duelled it out for victory with Rea coming out on top by around three seconds while Baz secured his first podium at Magny-Cours. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) finished in third place as he secured his first podium since the Australian Round; Lowes securing his third podium of the season.
THAT WAS SO CLOSE!— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) October 3, 2020
The American rookie @garrettgerloff attacks on @jonathanrea!#FRAWorldSBK pic.twitter.com/M3GTKWswHe
Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) followed up his victory at Catalunya with fourth at Magny-Cours as he continued to his strong end to the season as the Welshman finished ahead of the battling trio of Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team), Leon Haslam (Team HRC) and Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati). Redding finished in fifth place ahead of Razgatlioglu in sixth after Haslam passed Razgatlioglu into Turn 12 before crashing straight after; Haslam retiring from the race.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) finished in seventh place ahead of Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) equalling his best result of the 2020 season with eighth place. Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) finished ninth after the Dutchman crashed on Lap 15 at Turn 13 while battling in the top four positions, ahead of Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) in tenth.
@lorisbaz is faster than @jonathanrea !— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) October 3, 2020
Can the @TenKateSBK rider take the lead? #FRAWorldSBK pic.twitter.com/zoIH3CXCtz
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) finished the 21-lap race in 11th place with Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) finishing just ahead of French rider Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) finishing in 13th place as he scored more points. Valentin Debise (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) scored his first ever WorldSBK points with 14th place and Xavier Pinsach (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) claiming points in his first WorldSBK race.
Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) finished the race in 16th; equalling his best result of his races in the 2020 season with Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing HONDA Team) rounded out the classification in 17th place, with Haslam, Gerloff, Sykes and Laverty all retiring from the race.
The top six after WorldSBK Race 1, full results here:
1.) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2.) Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +3.342s
3.) Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +9.707s
4.) Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +14.045s
5.) Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +16.427s
6.) Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +16.976s
You can follow all the action throughout the French Round with the WorldSBK VideoPass!