2019 Magny-Cours World Superbike Race Two Result: Dry Track, Clear Skies

With the championship being potentially settleable in the last race of the weekend, World Superbike lined up for a twenty one lap race under normal weather conditions after a turbulent weekend. 

Jonathan Rea led Toprak Razgatlioglu, Michael van der Mark, Alvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies at the start, and their first meeting at the Adelaide hairpin, turn five, Razgatlioglu made a play for the lead, but missed the apex and dropped to third place. As Michael van der Mark took the lead, Alvaro Bautista took third place from Razgatlioglu. On lap two, Rea set the fastest lap in second place as Razgatlioglu and Bautista had a close battle.

On lap three, Toprak Razgatlioglu started the front in turn thirteen and had to slow down to avoid a slide causing Alvaro Bautista to plough into his rear, knocking both their bikes down. Razgatlioglu's bike hit its fallen rider, but both riders avoided injury. Bautista was able to remount his bike, but with hoses hanging off the left side of the front wheel, the point of impact, all he could do was ride back to the pits and wonder whether that monkey paw[1] he got off the fairground witch was truly the source of a curse, just like those pesky kids in the van told him. 

Jonathan Rea started lap two in second place, with a two second gap behind him to Alex Lowes and Tom Sykes, Michael van der Mark in front of him and a pit board that read "Bautista out" in all-caps. 

Jonathan Rea looked for a way past Michael van der Mark for a few laps, probably knowing a win would net him an unlikely title this weekend, and he finally found a way through the chicane on lap six while Alex Lowes set the fastest lap closing up to his Yamaha teammate, over a second clear of Loris Baz and Chaz Davies fighting for fourth. 

Jonathan Rea held the lead for two laps until Michael van der Mark took it back at Adelaide. Van der Mark held the lead until lap eleven. Rea locked onto the back of van der Mark at turn three and remained with him down the kinked straight, taking a wider line I to the turn five hairpin and switching back to the inside on the exit to take and hold the lead as they charged to turns 5a and six side-by-side. A lap later, van der Mark took the lead back at Adelaide but Rea took the lead back into the chicane, holding it through the 180 left-hand hairpin. 

On lap thirteen, van der Mark took the lead around turn three, but Rea pulled his outride manoeuvre at Adelaide to take the lead back on the exit of the corner. A lap later, van der Mark slid the rear around turn three, giving Rea enough breathing room to focus on a clean lap. While van der Mark was still matching Rea's pace, Alex Lowes in third position finally started dropping off, having spent most of his tyres catching up to the Ealing two earlier in the race. By lap sixteen, he was a second behind the leading pair, but a comfortable two and a half seconds clear of Chaz Davies and Loris Baz, Davies having caught and passed Baz over the previous few laps. 

Michael van der Mark held onto Jonathan Rea until three laps from the end when Rea finally worked out a manageable gap of just under a second.

Jonathan Rea rode the last three laps at a similar pace to his race and finished the race on his rear wheel, just realising he was World Champion for the fifth time in a row. 

Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes rounded out the podium, but they would have to wait in Parc Fermé for Rea's return as he celebrated his record-breaking fifth title. Rea pulled over where several Kawasaki staff, in fresh black t-shirts with a number five in a five pointed star on the front, set up a little green carpet. Rea got off his bike and was dressed by his team in the black celebratory t-shirt and a tuxedo jacket that fitted over his aerodynamic hump. He was given a green bow tie and he walked down the green carpet.

At the end of the carpet, he planted his hands in some concrete, Hollywood walk of fame-style, to carry on the star motif. After many congratulations, he finally made it back to Parc Fermé and took the podium to the British national anthem.

Jonathan Rea won the title with a lead of one hundred and twenty nine points over Alvaro Bautista. The third place battle is still up for grabs as Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark scored points while Toprak Razgatlioglu didn't, relegating him to fifth place, only twenty one points clear of Leon Haslam.

[1]There was no monkey paw.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR  
2 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 0.862
3 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 1.702
4 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 4.014
5 76 L. BAZ Yamaha YZF R1 4.989
6 33 M. MELANDRI Yamaha YZF R1 19.939
7 91 L. HASLAM Kawasaki ZX-10RR 20.130
8 66 T. SYKES BMW S1000 RR 20.305
9 2 L. CAMIER Honda CBR1000RR 26.564
10 81 J. TORRES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 27.855
11 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 30.190
12 50 E. LAVERTY Ducati Panigale V4 R 32.283
13 20 S. BARRIER Ducati Panigale V4 R 48.000
14 23 R. KIYONARI Honda CBR1000RR 48.298
15 28 M. REITERBERGER BMW S1000 RR 48.703
16 52 A. DELBIANCO Honda CBR1000RR 54.384
17 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 3 Laps
RET 11 S. CORTESE Yamaha YZF R1 10
RET 19 A. BAUTISTA Ducati Panigale V4 R 19 Laps
RET 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1
Round Number: 
11
2019
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Comments

Please excuse my nitpicking, but "had to slow down to avoid a slide causing Alvaro Bautista to plough into his rear"? Toprak had just passed Alvaro and for all intents and purposes he was already sliding out and had practically crashed when Alvaro hit his bike with nowhere to go. That slide was definitely no longer avoidable by this point.

Razgatlioglu had to slow down to avoid a slide? What I saw was that he simply crashed exiting that corner, probably because he tried to take too tight a line or because he was too eager to get on the throttle again, to prevent Bautista from countering his overtake. He crashed and Bautista had nowhere to go. I guess Bautista is not Razgatlioglu's biggest fan, after the collision in the first corner of the sprint race at Laguna Seca which caused him two DNF's plus poorer results in the following races. Both race incidents, but it did have a major impact on Bautista's title challenge.

Still, Rea's a very convincing world champion again, never easing off whether he was on the back foot or massively in the lead in points. Hats off.

I'm pretty sure he was losing the front, not the rear. I'll have to rewatch it though. 

It looked a bit odd indeed, I also had to see the replay to see what exactly happened. He did suddenly slow down, but that was because he slid off at low speed. According to Bautista he lost the rear, I read later. The front followed quickly for sure. Bautista felt Razgatlioglu was nervous and too hasty to get to the front, after already overshooting the hairpin in the first lap. Will be interesting to see how Razgatlioglu handles his new status as race winner. Maybe now he feels obliged to do it every time, because he knows he can, and is more tensed as a result. Next year as a Yamaha factory rider will be even more interesting. He seems to be relying heavily on burying the front into corners. Not sure if that works on the Yamaha as well as on the Kawasaki.

It's amazing how teams and riders react so differently to pressure. Ducati have managed to win 20 races this season, yet still lose the championship with 6 to spare. All that inital momentum and confidence chipped away by the relentless force Rea and Kawasaki exert on the rest of the field. It doesn't seem to matter how hard they get pushed, they'll find a way to push even harder. Best of luck to Scott for next year, he'll need it and then some.

Toprak to Factory Yamaha
Haslam to Toprak's seat
Lowes to Factory Kawi

Interesting!
My guess is the Yamaha motor will have more setback relatively for 2020 rules. And, this yr the Kawi has been the better machine. The handling on the Yamaha shone brightly thus round. The fast chicane and several tight/varied corners made for good viewing.

Winner Lowes (careful what you wish for "factory ride!" grabbing Toprak). Toprak it has been a joy to watch you serve everyone a Turkey sandwich dressed like Santa Claus, and sincere best wishes kid!

(Toprak lost the rear. Had just passed Beautista aggressively and was on alternate lines. Tight right inside at the limit, didn't hit curbing to my eye, just grabbed throttle hard fast and early during a pivot).

Camier - he may finally have that great ride if that Fireblade arrives as it should. Look out for him (stay healthy and fit now mate!).

Who gets the BMW seat opening? Good move.

Congrats Rea. Weird season Ducati, eh? Race 1 was fun Saturday. Race 2 good as well. Davies did well to miss the Toprak-Beautista tangle AND stay in for a 4th after the runoff. Good pace. Curious about Chaz and Redding will size up with each other. Tipping Redding, unless Davies gets face tattoos or a mohawk over Winter.

12 min Race1 highlights

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vh8R9DTKKWA

Same for Race2

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lZuMetrF8nQ

I don't think Camier will be on a Honda again next year. The factory team will consist of Bautista and Takahashi, so Camier is out of that. And happily so I would think. Like so many riders before him in the last decade that Fireblade has gotten him injured a lot. And seeing how all the Honda riders but one are also struggling in MotoGP, I'm not so sure Honda will be able to produce a bike that will be easy to ride. With a completely new engine, they are able to make the horsepower for sure, but ridability..? If I were Camier I'd look thankfully elsewhere. In my ideal world, he would get a seat in a new Suzuki team. That would be great for him and the Superbike world championship! More likely he'll be on a Ducati V4R, I guess.

The BMW seat has already gone to Eugene Laverty. Curious to see what he can do next year. This year has been dissapointing, I expected him to do much better, expecially given his experience on the Desmosedici MotoGP bike. He was doing way better on the RSV4 last year (remember pole at Portimao just a year ago..?). I think that that Aprilia was actually still very competitive, also looking at the very mediocre results of Lorenzo Savadori in MotoE and his good results in the Italian Superbikes on an RSV4 this season. Some team should have taken that discounted Aprilia offer for those superbikes at the end of last year, I feel (from my comfy seat at home).