A five-star performance as Rea holds off van der Mark to become the first five-time WorldSBK champion!

A five-star performance as Rea holds off van der Mark to become the first five-time WorldSBK champion!

The Pirelli French Round will go down in the history books of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. It began with Turkey’s first ever winner in Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) and finished with Jonathan Rea winning Race 2 to become the championship’s first ever five-time champion following early misfortune for nearest rival Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati).

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Starting from pole position for the first time in WorldSBK, Toprak Razgatlioglu couldn’t make the same lightning start which saw him leap up the order in the two previous races. Rea edged up the inside into Turn 1 to grab the lead but he wouldn’t stay ahead for long, as Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) used the slipstream to hit the front at the Adelaide hairpin.

The moment which ultimately proved decisive in the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship came on Lap 2 as Razgatlioglu lost the rear of his Kawasaki on the exit of Turn 13. As the Turkish rider fought to control the slide, Alvaro Bautista was powerless to avoid the Race 1 winner and both riders were eliminated on the spot. With the words ‘BAUTISTA OUT’ displayed on his pit-board next time around, Rea now knew that a race victory would see him make history.

Michael van der Mark was keen to ensure that Rea didn’t have an unchallenged run to a fifth WorldSBK crown, keeping the Ulsterman at bay until the Imola