'It was like the dodgems': Jonathan Rea closes in on fifth world title despite missing out on victory at Magny-Cours
Jonathan Rea has edged closer to securing his fifth straight World Superbike title despite missing out on victory in the opening race at Magny-Cours.
The Ballyclare biker was second to Kawasaki team-mate Toprak Razgatlioglu's maiden win, with title rival Alvaro Bautista ending up down in fifth.
Rea's championship lead now stands at 100 points after a dramatic race that saw leader Michael van der Mark crash out.
Rea came in just 0.2 seconds behind Ragatlioglu, with Tom Sykes completing the rostrum.
"It was like being at the funfair, at the dodgems, in those first laps," Rea told the BBC. "The race wouldn't settle down, especially in the braking area with people releasing the breaks on the approach to the apex. I saw some crazy manoeuvres out there but luckily I stayed upright.
"There was a big mistake by me on the last lap because it gave Toprak the chance to make a manoeuvre. Aside from that I felt ok. The bike's not working great in the dry conditions. We should revisit last year's set-up bu congratulations to Toprak.
"I'm delighted for him but disappointed for myself because I gave that opportunity to him. A part of me can be happy because it's been a long time coming for him. It probably should have happened before but now he's finally here and it's a Kawasaki one-two. I'll try and reverse that tomorrow."
Should Rea get over the line, he will complete a stunning comeback victory after Bautista won the opening 11 races of the season.
Belfast Telegraph Digital