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First match point for Rea at Magny-Cours

The Northern Irish rider has a first chance to be crowned world champion in France; in the Ducati camp, Davies tries to reach Sykes in the standings

SBK: First match point for Rea at Magny-Cours

It's the Magny-Cours weekend but it may well become Johnny Rea's weekend. In France, the Northern Irish rider has a first chance to be crowned world champion for the third consecutive time. A season that the Kawasaki rider, after clocking up eleven race wins and 431 points, is now keen to top off with the title.

There are 120 points between him and his closest rival, or rather Tom Sykes. A more than reassuring advantage, even more so considering the physical condition of his team-mate after suffering an accident at Portimao.

On Thursday, #66 will be checked over by circuit doctors, hoping to get the all-important OK to ride his ZX-10RR. If he gets it, he'll then need to try and win both races if he wants to keep the championship open, but even this might not be enough. If Rea takes a double third place finish, he'll be crowned championship for the third time irrespective of his team-mate's results.

Basically, unless the truly unexpected happens, the French round will be a simple formality for the Cannibal.

At this point, the battle between Sykes and Davies for second place becomes interesting. They are separated by just 15 points. The Ducati rider is hungry for victory after Portugal, and Magny-Cours is an opportunity to turn the page, at a track where he won last season.

Let's not forget Marco Melandri who's scored three consecutive third place and lies fourth in the championship, followed by the Yamahas of Lowes and van der Mark. The Dutchman looks for continuity after his podium in Portugal and we're sure that he's not lacking motivation, especially after missing out on the chance to ride the M1 at Aragon.

The last SBK round also brought positive results for MV Agusta and Aprilia, with a fourth place finish apiece, for Camier and Laverty. There are also some changes ahead, with Davide Giugliano back on the Honda SP2 a month after the Lausitzring round, alongside Jake Gagne, who stands in for injured Stefan Bradl. A brand new pairing for Ten Kate, in the hope of better results.     

Translated by Heather Watson

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