The Kawasaki rider could claim his fourth crown at Magny-Cours with two rounds to spare
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) inched closer to his fourth consecutive MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with another magisterial performance on Sunday at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Moving from ninth to third inside the first lap, the Northern Irish rider managed to overtake Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) for the race lead two thirds of the way into Race Two and take his third consecutive double.
The KRT leader now holds a 116-point lead over Davies in the championship standings, meaning that he could already clinch his fourth crown in Race One or Race Two at Magny-Cours in two weeks’ time. With six races remaining and unbeaten since Laguna Seca, Rea needs just 34 points from here onwards to claim the title.
“It’s mad, I can’t quite believe it right now”, he admitted post-race. “We knew coming here a few weeks ago for the test that we were quite strong in the hot conditions. All weekend we kept the same bike and I just tried to adapt my style to the track”.
After a comfortable Race One win, Rea enjoyed the tough battle on Sunday with Davies: “In those early laps I had such a good pace to arrive with Chaz, but then my pace dropped because I couldn’t find a way past. He was like an animal on the brakes, and all the areas where I was fast he was also fast, so I had to get creative with the passing. In the end I found a nice one at turn 10 at the top of the hill and it stuck”.
Facing his first opportunity to take the title in France, Rea is clear: “The target is to try and win the championship at Magny-Cours. Right now, we’re on the way. At this point it’s my championship to lose, by stupidity or making mistakes. I want to try and do the best I can every weekend and limit mistakes. That target’s in sight now”.
Watch Rea celebrate his Portimao double and much more thanks to WorldSBK VideoPass.