World Superbikes: Jonathan Rea targets series treble at Magny-Cours

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea is one short of 50 career World Superbike wins

Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea is aiming to wrap up a historic third successive World Superbike title at the next round at Magny-Cours in France.

The 30-year-old moved 120 points clear at the top of the championship standings by winning both races at last weekend's round in Portimao.

"Now we can go to the next round in France and try to win it," said Rea.

"It was always my target to try and win it before the final round in Qatar to make the whole thing less stressful."

Rea would become the first rider to secure the World Superbike crown for three years in a row if he can turn his seemingly unassailable lead into a decisive margin in France, with the penultimate round in Spain also still to come in October.

"Magny-Cours is a circuit I enjoy, while Jerez is a track I have typically gone well at in winter testing, but have never really managed to put together a strong race weekend there. I hope to improve on that," explained the Kawasaki rider.

"The championship is getting nearer, the number of races still to go are coming down and the points gap keeps increasing so I'm grateful to be in this position.

"It is a huge team effort and without a great bike under me and great people around me I couldn't do it."

The County Antrim-born rider has clinched four double successes this season in moving to a total of 11 wins during 2017 and the 49 career triumphs he has accumulated leave him just 10 short of the record tally achieved by Carl Fogarty, the four-time world champion.

"Right from the first lap at Portimao my bike was good and we didn't change much all weekend. I had a massive moment at turn 10 in race two but in general I was always able to control the gap.

"For race two we made a huge change to the wheelbase with a view to testing something and looking ahead to next season. We're in the fortunate position where we can do that now."

2017 WSB Riders' Championship (GB unless stated)
Jonathan Rea Kawasaki431 pts
Tom Sykes Kawasaki311
Chaz Davies Ducati296
Marco Melandri (Ita)Ducati250
Alex Lowes Yamaha169
Xavi Fores (Spa)Ducati156