Rea on the cusp of history

Monday, 30 April 2018 07:39 GMT

Three-time world champion has another record in his sights

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) is continuing to break records and put his name in the history books, is already known as one of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship greats. Equaling Carl Fogarty’s record of wins at TT Circuit Assen last time out, he is now just two victories away from equaling Fogarty’s record of overall wins – but can Rea get to 59 in Italy?

British rider Carl Fogarty is a legend in the WorldSBK paddock with four world titles, 109 podium finishes and 59 wins. Memories of the Ducati rider in the series are iconic to many, and his records in WorldSBK are sensational. Racing for the first full season in 1991, his first world title came in 1994 with 10 victories out of 20 races. He secured the back to back crown the following year, and was well on his way to becoming a legend of the sport – with stunning on track battles and intense rivalries, he was the man to beat.

Taking his first win at Donington Park, his tenth victory came at Assen – a circuit at which he now shares the record with Rea of the most victories at one track. Fogarty’s 59th and final victory came at Hockenheim in 1999 – the same season he took his last title. His records have stood for well over ten seasons, but then Jonathan Rea came along.

Rea had some strong results with the Ten Kate Honda squad when he first joined WorldSBK full time in 2009 – winning his first race that same season around Misano World Circuit. With 15 victories secured at Honda, he then made the move over to Kawasaki in 2015 and never looked back.  Winning straight off the bat Down Under at Phillip Island, the Northern Irish rider stacked up 14 wins in 2015 with his new green team – along with his first world title.

Becoming the first rider since Fogarty to take the back to back title in 2016, the 31 year old was unstoppable on the Ninja, as he was able to fully showcase his racing talent. At the end of 2016 he was on 38 victories and showed no signs of slowing down. 2017 saw Rea get his name in the history books as the first rider to ever take three consecutive titles, but now he is hunting down more records. With 16 wins in 2017, he opened the 2018 season with victories in Thailand, Aragon and The Netherlands, which leaves him two shy of equaling the record.

Heading into Imola – a circuit he last won around in 2015 – could he take his first double of the season and as a result 59 WorldSBK victories? All bets are off once the lights go out in WorldSBK! The best way to find out? Head over to the WorldSBK VideoPass.