WSBK: Rea Takes A Podium In Race 2 At Magny Cours
Jonathan Rea forced to retire with mechanical problems in race one
The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland had shown impressive pace throughout the weekend and started today’s two 23-lap races from second on the grid. However, the first encounter was to prove short-lived as Rea was forced to retire with a mechanical problem.
In race two, Rea battled with eventual race winner, Noriyuki Haga, and Max Biaggi, with race one winner, Ben Spies, in hot pursuit. In the closing laps, he dropped off the pace for a safe third place, his sixth podium finish in his rookie SBK season.
Rea’s Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Carlos Checa, struggled to find the right set up for this weekend’s races but rode to a hard-fought sixth place in today’s first encounter. The Spaniard finished ninth in an eventful race two.
Jonathan Rea – DNF & 3rd
All weekend we’ve had a good pace but it just seems that, come the first race, we couldn’t put it together. I’m really sorry for the team because I take a lot of the blame for that. It put me out of my rhythm and then I got a bit of arm pump towards the end of race two. I was running with the guys at the front until about five laps from the end because the package we had here was as strong as at Imola last week. We’ll regroup back at the workshop and come back strong for Portimao.
Carlos Checa – 6th and 9th
Race one was not fantastic but sixth was acceptable after the problems we have had this weekend. In race two I lost 10 seconds at the start, trying to exit the first gear hairpin in second gear, and then I almost crashed at the last chicane. I got caught up in Fabrizio’s crash because I was trying to pass Sykes and then I saw the yellow flags. It was too late to do anything about it and I think Sykes crashed behind me, so I’m sorry for that. Afterwards, I just tried to find a good pace and finish as high as possible. The bike and the team are in good shape – I just didn’t have the right level of confidence this weekend.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager
After his problems in race one, at least we finally got a result with Johnny in race two. Both he and the team thoroughly deserved that. Carlos showed some good pace although his results were a little disappointing. We’re all looking forward to Portimao, which suits the characteristics of the CBR1000RR and we had some good results there last year.
2009 World Superbike championship, round 13 – Magny-Cours, France (4.41km, 2 x 23 laps) results:
1 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 37’57.110s
2 Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Ducati +0.181s
3 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia +5.009
4 Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Ducati +16.347
5 Leon Haslam (GBR) Honda +22.622
6 Carlos Checa (ESP) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +24.948
1 Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Ducati 38’00.282s
2 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia +1.480s
3 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +6.024
4 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha +18.135
5 Leon Haslam (GBR) Honda +21.236
6 Yukio Kagayama (JPN) Suzuki +23.647
9 Carlos Checa (ESP) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +31.455
Championship points after 13 of 14 rounds: Haga 436, Spies 426, Fabrizio 346, Biaggi 293, Rea 279, Haslam 241, Checa 200.
Next round: Portimao, Portugal – 23-25 October