Round 11 Race 2 France
With both official Kawasaki Racing Team riders keen to add to their race victory tallies, especially after Tom had been third and Rea fourth in Saturday’s opener, the front-running action was close and competitive between the riders who still occupy first and second places in the championship.
The conditions of race two could not have been more different from the wet and drying track encountered on Saturday. The dry surface allowed Tom to post a new lap record of 1m 37.864 seconds, on lap three, as he rode away out front to try and gap the field.
The undulations and heavy braking areas of the 4.411km Magny Cours circuit provided many passing opportunities for Rea after he had caught up with Tom, but Tom proved determined to hold onto his lead. He only surrendered it on lap 16 – temporarily to Rea and then finally to Davies. Rea re-passed Tom with four laps to go and set about trying to reel in Davies.
The top three riders were covered by just over 2.5 seconds at the end, with Tom half a second from Rea across the line. After race two in France Tom has now scored 81 podium places during his career .
The next races in the championship will take place on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October, at Jerez in Spain. The last round will be held at the Losail Circuit in Qatar, between 28thand 30th October.
“When I started the race the bike felt really good and it was quite easy for me to manage 1m 37 second lap times. Unfortunately, for the first time all weekend, our pace dropped and I am confused about this. I then struggled to carry corner speed so that is something for us to look at. On Friday we were very fast and consistent but we had some issues in the second part of the race today. We were more consistent over the whole weekend this time, however, and we are making steps forward. Unfortunately it is quite late in the season now but at least we are able to fight at the front and be somewhere close for the race win.”