IN one of the biggest turnarounds in World Superbike history, Irishman Jonathan Rea overturned a 61 point mid season deficit to clinch the 2019 World Superbike title with a dominant display in the last race of the French round at Magny Cours.
Turkish Kawasaki rider Toprak Razgatlioglu started the second feature race on pole but it was Rea who would lead into the first corner after the Turkish rider ran wide, dropping back to fifth.
Fresh from his previous victory, Razgatlioglu push back and quickly got the better of factory Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista into turn 13 on lap two to edge back up to second, however he lost the front of his Puccetti ZX-10R, taking down with him the Spaniard out of the race.
This left Rea only Pata Yamaha rider Michel van der Mark in his way to becoming World Champion.
The pair engaged in a tight fought battle which would see Rea taking the lead into the Imola chicane on lap six before loosing out again on lap eight.
The battle allowed van der Mark’s Yamaha teammate Alex Lowes to close the gap to the front pair, but couldn’t quite make the pace to edge ahead of Rea and van der Mark.
Rea made the decisive move on lap 13 at the Nurburgring chicane, where he preceded to chip away a steady lead to eventually cross the line, cementing his record fifth world title.
The Pata Yamaha riders would make up the rest of the podium with Welshman Chaz Davies bring the only remaining Aruba Ducati Panigale V4R home in fourth.
Rea becomes the first ever rider in the history of the World Superbike Championship to win five consecutive world titles, from 2015-2019.