Rea started Race One from Pole Position, setting two records and reaching another important Kawasaki milestone in the process. In winning his eighth consecutive Tissot-Superpole contest Jonathan created a stand-alone record for successive pole positions in WorldSBK. His best lap of 1’35.683 in Superpole was a new track best as well.
Rea’s 35th career pole position was his 31st for Kawasaki, but more significantly it gave Kawasaki a total of 100 WorldSBK pole positions as a manufacturer since the series started in 1988.
In Race One, held in warm and dry conditions, Rea and Lowes both opted for ‘B’ tyres front and rear. After some early passes and battles for track position in the first lap Rea led and Lowes was third, until Toprak Razgatlioglu came through from second place to the lead on lap four.
Rea pushed hard to try and stay in contention for the win but eventually scored second place, still setting faster laps through the race than all but one rider. Jonathan’s second place was his 20th podium of the 2021 season so far.
Lowes rode a lonely race in third place for the most part, but came under late pressure from Razgatlioglu’s team-mate Andrea Locatelli. A fall on lap 17 of the 21, at Turn Eight, meant Lowes could not continue.
The final day of Magny Cours action will take place on Sunday 5 September, with the short ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race in the morning and then a second full distance race, which starts at 14.00 hours, local time.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I did not realise that I had made eight Superpoles in a row until I saw it on the TV screen. That is pretty cool. And 100 Superpoles for Kawasaki as well, which is great. It was a really good day at school for me because I learned a lot. I can give some information now to the engineers in the pitbox and hope they can do something with it. It is clear we are quite on the limit of the package and are asking a lot from the front of the bike - in terms of stability and front tyre. When I was with Toprak I felt really good in sector one, up to the braking area of Turn Five. But, changing gear from first to second on the exit of T5 I lost all the time in the lap. During the rest of the lap I felt quite good. Eventually it was time to consolidate second position because Toprak was going away.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I felt good in all the sessions today. In Superpole on my second qualifying tyre I didn’t manage to improve my time and made a small mistake in Turn 15 but my first qualifying lap was still fast enough to be fourth on the grid. My start was not the best and I went back to fifth place, but I soon got back past Locatelli and Rinaldi to third. I stayed with Jonathan and Toprak a little bit but I did not have the pace mid-race. When Locatelli started catching me I tried to push again but I was on the limit of the front. It has been a while since I was on a podium so I kept pushing and unfortunately made a mistake on the front. To not finish the race is not positive but how I am riding, how I feel on the bike, is a lot more positive. To be as fast as I am feels great and we will get two more chances tomorrow.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was top Independent Rider in Tissot-Superpole but suffered a late crash that left him heavily bruised and battered. He was declared unfit for today’s race. His medical condition will be re-appraised on Sunday morning as he hopes to be declared fit to compete for points at his home round.
Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 15th in Race One, earning another championship point, while Loris Cresson (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) was 18th.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 22, Wins 8, Podiums 20, Superpoles 8
Career Race Wins: 107 (92 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 205 (163 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 35 (31 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 22, Wins 0, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 28 (8 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 166 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 478 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 100 – second overall