Jonathan Rea has taken his 12th race win of 2017 and with it a third consecutive World Superbike title in the Magny-Cours opener with a flawless performance in the wet.

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider produced a lights-to-flag domination to win by over 16 seconds to seal a historic third consecutive title – the first time in World Superbike history the feat has been achieved.

Behind the Rea domination, Marco Melandri reeled in Tom Sykes to snatch second place on the final lap as the pair battled the conditions and each other, including a scary moment where the Italian’s front wheel sparked against Sykes’s exhaust, but it was the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider who clinched the runner-up spot from the Kawasaki rider.

Five seconds behind the fight for second place Leon Camier equalled his best result of the campaign with fourth place for MV Agusta in what turned out to be a lonely race with Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes in fifth place but 19 seconds behind.

Eugene Laverty recovered from two falls in Superpole 2 to use his spare Milwaukee Aprilia bike to take sixth place sprinting past Leandro Mercado (IodaRacing Aprilia) at the chequered flag.

Davide Giugliano rescued a difficult race weekend with eighth place for Red Bull Honda after it was confirmed Stefan Bradl with miss the rest of the season due to injury.

Michael van der Mark picked up his Pata Yamaha after crashing at the hairpin on lap two, which saw the luckless Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) clatter the stricken YZF-R1 machine, with the Dutch rider recovering to finish ninth as Chaz Davies suffered with an electronics issue on the factory Ducati to finish 10th.

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