SBK, Rea opts to settle for the points for fourth place and postpone title outcome until Estoril

“The World Championship is still open, but Redding will have to win 3 races. When I was behind Chaz, on the one hand I wanted to attack, on the other to settle for fourth”

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The showdown will be in two weeks’ time, in Portugal, on the Estoril track, because today Jonathan Rea missed out on his first match point with the world title. In Portugal, however, he will only need three points to complete his mission and become champion once again.

It's all a bit of a formality for the Northern Irishman, who sees a sixth title waiting for him just around the corner. Unfortunately, Race 2 did not go the way he expected and he had to settle for fourth place.

“I knew it wouldn’t be an easy race - he declared - Magny-Cours is always strange, so I didn't know what to expect. This morning, in the warm-up, I was struggling a lot coming out of the corners, but the bike had a good set-up, in fact I was able to be aggressive ”.

In Race 2, the situation changed however...

“The bike was moving all over the place and I didn't have any grip at the rear, in fact the Kawasaki kept sliding. Unfortunately, when there is not so much water on the track, we tend to suffer more and today that was the case. Yesterday, but also this morning, with more water we were able to be much more competitive."

Rea first had to tolerate being overtaken by Baz, and then Davies, even though he tried to fight with the Welshman until the very end.

"When I was behind Chaz I had an angel and a devil on my shoulders, on the one hand I wanted to attack, on the other to settle for fourth place. I felt very comfortable with the bike in the chicanes, but Chaz made the difference when coming out of turns 5 and 13. In every moment of the race, I always had the situation under control regarding the points situation for the championship. In fact, I knew that fourth place was not enough for the title. My goal was to finish in the top three, but unfortunately it wasn't possible today ”.

So now the only round remaining is at Estoril…

“It will certainly be exciting, because I have never raced there in my career and it is the first time. We’ll see what happens. My priority, however, is to win the championship and I will have three races available to do so, since three points will be enough for me ”.

For Redding it will be a sort of Mission Impossible, more or less like for Dovizioso with Marquez in Valencia in 2017…

“In some ways it is. The World Championship is still open, but Scott will have to win three races if he wants to win the World Championship, while three points are enough for me to take the title. In MotoGP there is only one race compared to the Superbike format".

Rea is ready for the challenge…

“I think I'll have to leave my motocross bike in the garage in the next few weeks (he joked). The goal is to win the Championship already in Race 1, trying to be calm and avoiding mistakes, and then fight in the other two. We will see what happens. It is the last race of the season and everyone has a lot of expectations. It would have been nice to win the title here in France, but at the same time I knew that it wasn't going to be that easy. So we’ll see how it goes at Estoril".

 

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