Rea hauls in Sykes to win

Even with the World title in his hands there was no stopping Jonathan Rea as he overhauled Tom Sykes on a drying Magny-Cours circuit to win Race 1 in France.

The start of Race 1 at the Magny-Cours circuit was delayed by 15 minutes as marshals cleared standing water as well as oil dropped in an earlier warm-up crash.

The rain had let up in the hour before the race but it was still declared wet given the damp track which left the riders with the conundrum of whether to go with wets, intermediates – or even slicks.

It was the battle of the Kawasakis as the shortened 19-lap race began with first Champion-elect Jonathan Rea leading before his team-mate Tom Sykes, who started P9, worked his way to the front of the pack.

Tip-toeing around the circuit it was an all-British front four only for the Pata Hondas to get involved. Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark slipped into the mix, taking Leon Haslam and then Chaz Davies.

While they battled for the podium, an all too familiar story started to unfold at the front as Sykes' advantage, which had been up to 3.4s, began to fall away. As the laps counted down Rea hauled in his team-mate,cutting the deficit 1.2s with five laps remaining.

With three to go Rea caught his team-mate, pushing him wide as he stormed through into the lead at the Nurburg chicane. Sykes was forced to sit up and the race win was decided. Rea went onto take the chequered flag by 4.7 seconds ahead of his team-mate.

Guintoli joined the Kawasaki team-mates on the podium at his home race in what was his first top-three result of this season while van der Mark was fourth across the line.

Camier was fifth ahead of Davies, Matteo Baiocco, and Alex Lowes.

1 REA Jonathan Kawasaki ZX-10R
2 SYKES Tom Kawasaki ZX-10R +4.711
3 GUINTOLI Sylvain Honda CBR1000RR SP 14.683
4 VD MARK Michael Honda CBR1000RR SP 22.772
5 CAMIER Leon MV Agusta F4 RR 30.136
6 DAVIES Chaz Ducati Panigale R 31.528
7 BAIOCCO Matteo Ducati Panigale R 32.129
8 LOWES Alex Suzuki GSX-R1000 39.034
9 MERCADO Leandro Ducati Panigale R 61.396
10 CANEPA Niccolò Ducati Panigale R 67.845
11 VIZZIELLO Gianluca Kawasaki ZX-10R 69.622
12 TORRES Jordi Aprilia RSV4 RF 76.782
13 SCASSA Luca Ducati Panigale R 79.531
14 BADOVINI Ayrton BMW S1000 RR 86.459
15 RAMOS Román Kawasaki ZX-10R 90.260
16 HASLAM Leon Aprilia RSV4 RF 1 Lap
17 RIZMAYER Gábor BMW S1000 RR 1 Lap
18 PONSSON Christophe Kawasaki ZX-10R 1 Lap
19 PHILLIS Alex Kawasaki ZX-10R 1 Lap
20 TOTH Imre BMW S1000 RR 1 Lap
21 REITERBERGER Markus BMW S1000 RR 2 Laps
RT SZKOPEK Pawel Yamaha YZF R1 5 Laps
RT DE PUNIET Randy Suzuki GSX-R1000 9 Laps
RT SALOM David Kawasaki ZX-10R 14 Laps