At the Circuit de Nevers Magny Cours it was a wet race to start the weekend, giving Rea the chance of being able to wrap up the championship this weekend.
This morning it was announced that Bradl will be out for the rest of the season after his wrist surgery. A couple of riders were declared unfit for the race – Badovini and Lussiana.
It was Rea once again taking pole, ahead of Mercardo who was making his front row debut in WorldSBK in front of Tom Sykes who was returning from injury. The second row was Forés, Lowes and Giugliano on the Honda Fireblade leading Davies, Camier and Laverty who suffered 2 crashes during the SP2 session. Starting from 10th it was van der Mark with Savadori and Melandri behind him. Russo, West and Jezek taking his best qualifying yet lined up on the 5th row. Finishing out the grid it was Ramos, Andreozzi, Gagne, De Rosa and finally Torres!
Again, Rea showed what he had and maintained his pole position from the start and got away making up to a 15 second lead by the end and finally, all of his hard work had paid off and he achieved his third consecutive WorldSBK championship title, making him the first person to do it back-to-back and also arriving to his 50th win! #R3PEAT!
Davies seemed to really struggle after a good start making his way up to the podium battle. Soon after, he started to drop back and was clearly having a hard time as van der Mark, who had crashed and fell down to 20th was easily able to pass him.
The battle for 2nd began to heat up towards the end of the race between Sykes and Melandri as they got close many times and almost touched in places, but in the end it was Melandri who came out on top.
P1 – Rea: “I have no words. I just sacrificed so much in my life with my parents and everyone and all the hard times to get to a level to live my dream, to win a world championship but to win 2 and then to go 3 times is- I can’t really compute the feelings right now so I just want to thank everyone at Kawasaki and Kawasaki racing team, every single member, all the technicians back in Japan. Most of all I want to thank my wife and my kids who sacrifice so much to let me live my dream and we do this together and we are really happy that they’re here this weekend and I’m so happy to do it with a race win as well because that’s something I haven’t done in the previous 2 titles and it means a lot and to make a 50 race wins, I’m so, so happy for that.
P2 – Melandri: “It was not an easy race because it was a good start but I was far away. The track was very difficult and in the end I could catch Tom (Sykes) and it was a nice battle, 2 laps to go and we touch each other but I didn’t really see him and I’m sure he didn’t really see me because it is really difficult in that turn. In the last lap we overtake each other 3 times and it was very good fun but to finish 2nd in the wet is very good because it is the first time for me with this bike on the wet so the team make a good job and now to get better for the dry.
P3 – Sykes: “Yeah considering the injuries I’m very happy and it’s just a shame that I struggled a little bit with edge grip and I was having to a V in the corners and Marco (Melandri) had really goo side grip so that’s why along turn 3 we had a little bit of a kiss and our paths crossed. What can I say- it was an enjoyable race, different tactics from me and Marco and finally the end result was almost the same and considering this, if somebody would have offered me this kind of result 2 weeks ago I would have defiantly taken it. I’ve got a very bad hand injury well- put it this way I struggled to put my socks on so I don’t know how I managed to ride a bike but we find something and we’re really happy and I really want to thank the team, the people for making it as comfortable as possible.
Our 2017 World Superbike Champion, Jonathan Rea took the win ahead of Melandri and Sykes. Camier was looking to make his debut podium but could only manage 4th with Lowes, Laverty and Mercado coming up behind him. A solid top 10 finish for Giugliano and van der Mark with Davies rounding it off. Savadori was 11th ahead of Ramos, De Rosa, Torres and Russo taking the final point. Jezek crossed the line in 16th, Andreozzi 17th and finally it was West in 18th.
DNF: Forés – Retirement after a collison with van der Mark.