MOTORBIKES: Rea delighted to be back on podium with double success at Magny-Cours

Jonathan Rea tops the podium at Magny-Cours. INLT 41-997-CON

Jonathan Rea tops the podium at Magny-Cours. INLT 41-997-CON

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Newly-crowned Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea did the double in France at the weekend, claiming his first Magny-Cours victories.

His twelfth-round wins mean he also broke through the 500 points mark, with one round and two races still to go in his remarkable FIM Superbike World title-winning season.

In the first race of the day Rea on the Kawasaki, who qualified second-fastest, led for the first two laps of the wet race, until his team-mate Tom Sykes got past. Sykes led until the closing stages when, with three laps to go, Rea made his move and retook the lead to clinch his first victory at Magny-Cours. Second was Sykes with Sylvain Guintoli on the Pata Honda third. In the full-distance 21-lap second race, Chaz Davies on the Ducati led for nine laps before Rea took control, and won by 2.848 seconds while easing up over the line.

“When I got back here it was just so important to me to get back on the podium,” said the former Larne Grammar pupil. “Pirelli brought my favourite SC2 front tyre and immediately from the first session I felt really comfortable again. So I am really happy to have come out and not just have two podium finishes but a double win at a circuit I have never won at before.”