Rea Reaches 60 Wins And New Record

2018-06-10 08:32
Before he arrived in the Kawasaki Racing Team fold Rea had won 15 races in six years of WorldSBK competition, with his first arriving at Misano in 2009. The first of his 45 wins for Kawasaki came along at his very first race on the Ninja ZX-10R, at another special circuit for him, Phillip Island in Australia - the hometown of his wife Tatia.

Shortly before joining Kawasaki Rea had led the points standings after four rounds of the 2014 championship. But it took his arrival in the Kawasaki fold a year later for his true potential to shine through. That potential has grown into the reality of 60 race wins in all, and three consecutive world titles.

From 2015 until now he has been a virtual race-winning machine. He scored 14 victories in 2015, nine in 2016, 16 in 2017 and – at only the halfway point of the 2018 season – another six so far.

Brno, one of Rea’s favourite circuits and one with a long racing heritage, provided an appropriate backdrop for Rea’s latest landmark achievement. He had scored his very first World Championship race win, in the WorldSSP class, at Brno in 2008. At that same circuit he enjoyed an emphatic 60th WorldSBK race victory on Saturday the 9th of June, such was his determination to get back to winning ways and progress from joint all-time winner to a stand-alone record holder.

With one more race to go at Brno on Sunday 10th June, and then six more rounds to complete, few would expect anything less than Rea adding to his winning total long before the season finishes at Losail in October.

As well as his record total of race wins; Rea is the only rider to have won three consecutive World Championships, in 2015, ’16 and ‘17. He is currently the clear leader in the 2018 championship standings, having moved 81 points ahead of second place with his special race win.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “When I crossed the line today I started to realise I had done the 60 wins. I hadn’t been thinking about it during the race. That is super-nice and I can’t really believe it, to be honest. We have come so far and I am really proud of all the race wins we have done, and they are all special in their own individual way. Just huge thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way – and especially right now to the Kawasaki Racing Team for giving me this opportunity. The bike is great and I am enjoying riding it. It is nice to win the 60th race here, where I won my first WorldSSP race. I have called my dog Brno as well! It is a very special place and name for me. It’s a real rider’s circuit and one of my proudest race wins here was against Max Biaggi. It is the perfect track for Biaggi, a real flowing track where you throw it in on corner speed. Subtle differences at this track make a big difference. Releasing the brake, how you release the gas, trying to be more fluid. Carl Fogarty is a legend and he is still the GOAT up until we win this fourth title, hopefully. That is the big target for me, trying to win four championships. Carl has got that and he is the best. But to be the winningest rider now is something I am really proud of.”

Guim Roda, KRT Team manager, stated: “We all are so happy and proud of what Johnny did. Is curious to see how he has been able to beat ‘King Carl’ Fogarty’s record, someone who has been a legend for many of us, and especially for Jonathan himself. I can imagine each victory has a special taste for the rider. But I’m sure tonight, when Rea closes his eyes before going to sleep, his spirit will be calm, knowing that he is now the legend to beat in terms of race victories. Now Carl and Jonathan will need to go for a beer and make an unofficial transfer of the crown. I hope they can make a selfie together and share it with the fans.”

Pere Riba, Jonathan Rea’s Crew Chief, stated: “From my point of view, as I was a rider for many years, Johnny has made this record possible because in the last, maybe five years and maybe more, Jonathan Rea has been the rider with most skills to ride a bike in this championship. He is a complete rider, with his professionalism, his focus and his skills. But just with those things you cannot do what he has done. The proof is that before he came to Kawasaki he was fighting to win the championship, but at that time the package was not working the same way as the package is working for him now. When he came to Kawasaki he was the best rider and he found a very good bike in 2015. The bike had been developed for five years, and was already at a good level. Together with a group of guys who understand what he needs to give 100% of his potential, straight away in 2015 we understood each other and made a really strong package. We created a package around Johnny that allows him to enjoy, and to also win races.”

Jonathan Rea Career Statistics
World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 13, Wins 6, Podiums 11, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 60 (45 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 123 (81 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)

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Source: Kawasaki Racing Team

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