All three riders in the title race had their highs and lows throughout the French Round in a round that won’t be forgotten…
Two title contenders crashed in Race 1 at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the Pirelli French Round as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship burst back into action following the summer break, while in Race 2 there was a collision between two of them. It was a round that will live long in the memory with plenty of drama and many twists in the title fight. Here, we take a look at some of the ups and downs from a classic French Round.
Despite a crash in Race 1, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was the rider in the top three who gained across the French Round. Battling back to 11th place in Race 1, he recovered on Sunday to take a double win and cut the gap in the Championship to 30 points to Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). Razgatlioglu’s form since the Tissot Superpole Race at the Emilia-Romagna Round has been almost perfect, taking eight wins and two further second-place finishes from 11 races
Two other riders enjoyed strong weekends too. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) led a race for the first time in almost exactly a year, as he claimed two podiums at Magny-Cours. It’s the first time the young Italian rider has taken more than one podium in a round while it was also his first podiums in dry conditions; his first podium was taken in wet conditions. Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) also had a strong round as he took his best BMW result with second place in Race 1 while he also extended his run of top ten finishes with his new team to ten races.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had a French Round to forget after three separate incidents across the round. In Free Practice 3, he went down on an out lap at the end of the session before bouncing back from that to take pole position. In Race 1, though, he went down at the final chicane after clipping the kerb. He brought his bike back to the pits for emergency repairs and re-joined the race, a lap down, finishing last. He was able to take a podium in the Tissot Superpole Race but more drama struck in Race 2. On Lap 2 at Turn 13, he made contact with Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). The Spaniard went down and was out of the race while Rea was given a Long Lap Penalty for his role in the collision, with the six-time Champion finishing Race 2 in fifth.
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