Fans could be treated to four in a row
Reigning world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) has a very important season ahead of him, as he sets on a mission to become the first rider to ever secure four back to back WorldSBK titles. Making history in 2017 by taking his third title, he could cement his name in the history books in 2018 and equal a record set by his compatriot Carl Fogarty.
1999 saw Fogarty take his fourth and final title with Ducati, and since then no rider has been as successful as the Blackburn born rider. 219 races, 59 victories, 109 podiums and four titles, Carl Fogarty was a force to be reckoned with in WorldSBK – so much so he even has the Esses at Donington Park named after him. However there is always time for the history books to change and the tides to turn, and it’s now the turn of Rea.
Heading into his tenth full season in the series, Rea’s success really came when he made the switch to Kawasaki in 2015. After 218 races and counting he has taken 54 wins, 112 podiums and three titles and he shows no signs of slowing down. But the question is, can he take a historic fourth title?
Despite the new regulation changes for 2018, the package of the Kawasaki ZX-10RR and Rea seems to be unstoppable. Following hard working pre-season tests around Jerez, Portimao and Phillip Island, the Northern Irish rider was able to get through his full testing regime and feels comfortable ahead of the start of the season. Riding with a smile on his face, it looks as though it would take a powerful force to prevent Rea from taking a fourth title in 2018.
Taking 24 podiums, 16 victories, six pole positions and 14 fastest laps in 2017, the 31 year old had a phenomenal season, one which saw be regonised for his efforts in the United Kingdom as he was named an MBE and finished second in BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Even though it will be a hard one to beat this season, he will certainly put up his best fight to continue his rise to be named as an all time great.
Follow the Northern Irish riders progress throughout what is set to be a stunning season all with the WorldSBK VideoPass, with coverage from all 13 rounds of the season.