Jonathan Rea says he cannot be too hard on himself after crashing whilst striving for a fifth World Superbike Championship win of the season at Magny-Cours, though he was disappointed to register his first non-finish of the year.

A day of two halves for the Ulsterman, Rea enjoyed spells in the lead of both wet races on the PATA Honda, but issues with the power character would see him slip back in race one before forging his way forward again to claim a third place finish.

With a stronger bike beneath him for race two, Rea got off to a strong start and inherited the lead when Davide Giugliano crashed coming of the Nurburgrign esses, only for him to follow suit on lap 11 whilst keeping Aprilias at bay.

His first DNF of a year that has seen both himself and Leon Haslam show unwavering consistency in scoring, Rea is satisfied that he went down whilst pushing on.

"It's been a day of two halves really," he said. "Race one went OK although I really struggled with the power character in the wet today. It seems like Magny-Cours has just got really slippery in recent years and today's conditions really highlighted that problem. It was satisfying to get on the podium but I wanted to give a little bit more to try and win.

"So for race two my team gave me some good changes but we didn't quite solve the problem. I was still struggling in some areas but I was able to get to the front and this time just stay in a really good rhythm. Unfortunately, from the data we can see that, in turn five and six, I went through on a closed throttle as opposed to partially opened, and that was enough to have the engine braking kick in and bring the rear round. It came round so fast, I had no chance to save it and it's frustrating to get my first DNF of the year.

"One of my main targets was to finish all races this season but, speaking to the team's technical co-ordinator and my crew chief, the target was to get to the front and go for the win this afternoon. I crashed at the front trying to win the race so I can't be too hard on myself."

Rea's DNF means he has slipped behind Marco Melandri in the fight for third place in the WSBK standings, the pair split by 11 points heading to Qatar.



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