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Two Sunday Podiums for Rea
Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea completed his second triple podium weekend of the 2023 WorldSBK season by taking two third places on the final day of race action at Magny Cours. His team-mate Alex Lowes could not complete the ten-lap Superpole race on the final morning and withdrew from Race Two with a left knee issue.
The opening race on Sunday in France was the Tissot-Superpole ‘sprint’ held over ten laps. Rea and Lowes were running just behind the top three battle when the two official Ducati riders touched, and Michael Ruben Rinaldi crashed out.
Jonathan was up to second at that point as Alvaro Bautista had lost his track position but he was unable to catch eventual race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu. Rea would finally finish third as Bautista came back through to second.
Lowes was in a strong position in the Superpole race but was forced out by a physical issue. Alex was also unfit for the Race Two after he felt some ‘clicks’ in his left knee during the Superpole Race.
In the last WorldSBK race of the weekend Rea was in a strong situation in the early laps but Dominique Aegerter was lying in a dangerous position on the track after a collision with another rider. The first attempted Race Two was soon red flagged and then re-run over 17 laps. The riders took their new grid slots from where they finished the red flagged ‘race.’
The fight for podium places between Rea and his old rival Toprak Razgatlioglu was as intense as ever in the restart. Bautista had made a break to take the race win but Rea and Razgatlioglu attacked at every opportunity in their efforts to finish second. Eventually Razgatlioglu would be the runner-up and Rea was a close third.
Three podium places for Rea made Magny Cours his second best weekend of the season and consolidated his grip on third place in the championship. He is now 34 points ahead of fourth placed Andrea Locatelli.
In the championship rankings, Bautista has 467 points, Razgatlioglu 410 and Rea 290. Lowes is eighth with 129 points.
The next round takes place at Motorland Aragon, between 29 September and 1 October.