The fight for the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship will head to the season finale as Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) claimed victory from fourth on the grid at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the Pirelli French Round with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) finishing in fourth after starting from pole position.
Rea had led from the start and for the first three laps of the race before Redding had made his way up to the lead battle and passed Rea on the fourth lap of the 21-lap race to take the lead; Redding would go on to dominate the race to take a valuable 25 points in the Championship battle. Redding was joined on the podium by Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) as the home hero claimed his second podium of the French Round, with Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) competing the podium.
Davies made the title-denying pass on Lap 14 as he pushed Rea down into fourth place, meaning Rea leads Redding by 59 points with 62 points available in the remaining three races. Rea had tried to fight back in the latter stages of the race to secure the Championship at Magny-Cours but Davies was able to stay ahead.
Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) finished in fifth place, more than nine seconds clear of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN); the duo battling on track for a top five finish before van der Mark pulled clear. Rinaldi and Davies also battled out on track as the fight for a 2021 Ducati seat hots up. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) finished in seventh place after running the opening laps in the top two positions, directly behind his teammate.
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) secured another top eight finish as the American rookie continues to make steps forward as he finished ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team); the British rider completing the top ten.
Italian rider Federico Caricasulo (GRT YAMAHA WorldSBK Junior Team) finished four seconds behind Sykes in 11th place with Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) equalling his best result of the season with 12th place. Leon Haslam (Team HRC), Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) rounded out the top 15 to win points in the Championship.
Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) finished in 16th place, ahead of Valentin Debise (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) and Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing HONDA Team) completed the riders who finished the race with Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Xavier Pinsach (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) and Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) not finishing the race; Pinsach and Mercado suffering crashes during the race with Mercado out of the race on Lap 1.
P1 Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
“I was on the back foot all weekend because I didn’t have the laps on the rain tyres, but I was getting faster and faster. With the setting of the bike that was holding me back a little bit, I said to the team that if we could get this fixed, I think I can fight for the win. From the first and second lap, I saw I had the pace. The second problem was how long would the Pirelli last in these conditions as I had no idea. I was trying to ride as smooth as possible but in the end I did everything to win today.”
P2 Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha)
“I’m really happy. I have to thank my team, especially my crew chief because he gave me the confidence to choose the hard tyre on the grid. He wanted me to choose that one for the Superpole Race and I didn’t listen. It was a hard race. I was expecting to struggle a bit more at the beginning, but I had a good pace coming through the pack. I tried to overtake Jonny as soon as possible but Scott had something more and hats off to him.”
P3 Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
“It was a great race. Good to round this wet weekend off on the podium. A lot of pressure on that last lap, I knew what was on the line for Scott. I knew the points situation for him. And also, for myself, I knew van der Mark was sitting fifth in the race and obviously the main thing for me is to try and consolidate third in the Championship. A bit of pressure for me and for the team. Happy to bring it home on the podium. I felt really good out there, the bike was feeling really good. A great end to the weekend.”
2. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +2.551s
3. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +3.648s
4. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +4.261s
5. Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +7.409s
6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) +16.505s
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 7
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (340 points)
2. Scott Redding (GBR) Ducati (281 points)
3. Chaz Davies (GBR) Ducati (222 points)