59th win puts Rea in the challenge for title of becoming the most successful rider in WorldSBK
Continuing to cement his name in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship history books, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has equalled Carl Fogarty’s record of victories here at Imola. Rea’s second win of the weekend marks his 59th overall, breaking a record which has stood for nearly 20 years.
31 year old Rea first broke onto the WorldSBK scene in 2008 with a one event appearance for Honda, which saw him take a top four position in his debut around Portimao. Putting in 228 race starts since then, we take a look back over the pivotal victories of his career.
He first tasted victory in the WorldSBK in Misano’s race two back in 2009, crossing the line 0.063s ahead of Michel Fabrizio after a sensational on track battle. After getting the monkey off his back for his first win, he stood on the top step every season with the Honda machine, racking up ten victories in 2012. Spraying the Prosecco in front of his home fans at Donington Park for the tenth time, it was clear Rea was a strong talent in the series and a strong contender. His final win for Honda came at the track in which he made his debut – Portimao in 2014’s race two.
Making the switch over to Kawasaki for 2015, the Northern Irish rider has never looked back and this is when his victories began to come thick and fast. Winning his debut race on the green machine at Phillip Island – taking him to 16 overall – his 25th victory came once again in Portugal and this time Rea dominated to cross the line five seconds ahead of his closest rival Davide Giugliano.
Taking 14 victories in 2015, he didn’t secure the title with a victory but with a fourth position finish at Jerez. Entering 2016 as defending champion, it welcomed another strong year for Rea as he secured his 30th WorldSBK victory around Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in race one. Taking a total of nine P1 trophies home that season, Rea was once again crowned champion without taking the win at Qatar with a second position finish.
Hitting another milestone Down Under at Phillip Island, Rea took his 40th victory in the opening round of the 2017 season – one which proved to be a record breaking one for the 31 year old. With a phenomenal 16 victories secured in his third season with Kawasaki, Rea was an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. Securing the title around Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France, Rea won his 50th race of his career and was crowned champion with two rounds remaining.
Putting himself just nine shy of the record, he dominated the end of the 2017 season to take double victories in Spain and Qatar. As 2018 has become a more challenging season for our reigning world champion, Rea has continued to win and as he sensationally took the double victory around Imola, he took his 59th victory with it.
It now remains to be seen how many more races Rea can win as he career continues to go from strength to strength in WorldSBK. As the most successful WorldSBK rider of all time, he certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
Re-live some of Rea’s highlights all on the WorldSBK VideoPass, and watch as he continues to break records in WorldSBK.