Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea secured a strong third place finish in WorldSBK Race One after 20-laps of action at a hot Magny Cours circuit today.

Rea started the race from the middle of the second row on the grid after qualifying fifth in Superpole earlier in the day.

Race One was reduced to 20 laps not the scheduled 21 after a track technical issue arose just as the riders were formed up on the grid and the start had to be delayed for a short time. 

Rea fought with his team-mate Lowes and pole-sitter Garrett Gerloff in the early laps but he ended up in an almost solitary race to earn his 12th podium of the season. Rea would take over third place on lap five and would retain that position at the flag.

Rea had hopes of fighting for more than third place but the eventual leading duo of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael Ruben Rinaldi gradually pulled away, leaving Rea to use all his considerable experience to claim yet another record-extending WorldSBK podium finish. 

After the excitement and occasional high-drama of the opening race there will be two more points scoring opportunities for Rea on Sunday 10 September. The ten-lap Tissot Superpole Race and a 21-lap Race Two will complete the race action in the WorldSBK category this weekend.  

Jonathan Rea said: “In Superpole I got held up while using my second qualifying tyre in the last sector. The start was OK, but I almost crashed at Turn Five on the first lap. My knee is painful now because I dug my knee in so hard that the leathers sort of pulled around my knee. That created a kind a burn on the skin. I was lucky to stay on. Then I made some more mistakes, pushing the front when trying to catch up. When I went through on Alex and the BMWs I was then able to try and go with Michael and Toprak. I gained some tenths, but I was not really catching them. Then in the last part of the race they were able to keep the rhythm and I dropped into the 1’38s. I was struggling to turn the bike as soon as the grip was reduced and I couldn’t load the front. So there are some areas we need to improve for tomorrow.”