"Incredible… maybe they can prepare a cake" – Rea on prospects of 100th Kawasaki win

Thursday, 21 April 2022 15:13 GMT

Can you have your cake and eat it? Rea may be about to do just that if he can put his name in the history books once again by becoming the first WorldSBK rider to take 100 wins with a manufacturer

The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heads north to the Netherlands and the historic TT Circuit Assen for the second round of the season and the Motul Dutch Round. Coming into the weekend however, there’s a special milestone on the horizon for one very special rider. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has the chance to chalk up his 100th victory for Kawasaki, thus becoming the first rider in a premier class motorcycle racing World Championship to take 100 wins with just one manufacturer. He needs two wins from the weekend ahead to do it.

Rea’s Kawasaki career started in style with a debut victory in 2015’s season-opening Phillip Island duel, coming out on top ahead of Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies. Win #1 of his Kawasaki career was clinched with the #65 and now, he’s tantalisingly close to achieving his 100th win with the brand, also with the #65, a pleasing circularity. In between then, Rea’s achieved huge landmarks and has taken Kawasaki to new heights.

In 2018, he became the most successful rider of all time with a 60th WorldSBK win, surpassing Carl Fogarty on 59, whilst in 2019, he became a five-time Champion, the first-ever in WorldSBK. He then hit the WorldSBK field for six in 2020 before starting off his 2021 season with his 100th victory in the class. Now heading to Assen, where Rea has won 15 times and completed the triple in 2021, the odds are looking good for yet another landmark achievement.

Talking about hitting the #100 mark for Kawasaki, the six-time World Champion said: “That would be incredible! No one’s mentioned that inside the team. To win two races in WorldSBK is tough; I will do my best, that’s the target, but nothing is for sure right now. It would be nice come Sunday. I hope they have this in mind, maybe they can prepare a cake or something, that would be nice!”

Rea continued talking about the battle in 2022, and the return of Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) to race winning contention: “Let’s say Alvaro’s replaced the missing Scott Redding at the front. It’s always cool to have more guys fighting at the front. We didn’t mention Rinaldi, he was very strong at Aragon, a good circuit for him. Nice to be in the battle, nice that I had a bike that let me fight as well. I’m looking forward to more of that here.”

STAT ATTACK: how the other manufacturers’ best riders stand

Jonathan Rea is in a world of his own; nobody else has even got close to 100 race wins in WorldSBK, let alone for one manufacturer. The closest is Carl Fogarty at 55 for Ducati, with Troy Bayliss next up for the Italian brand at 52. Over at Honda, Colin Edwards is the most successful rider in their history with 31 race wins and two titles, whilst Noriyuki Haga is Yamaha’s best at 27 but without a title; reigning World Superbike Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) has 16, aiming to become the outright most successful this season. BMW’s most successful rider in terms of wins is Marco Melandri with 9.

Manufacturers not represented on the grid also have good numbers. Aprilia lead the way with Max Biaggi taking 18 of the manufacturer’s 52 wins along with two titles in 2010 and 2012, Troy Corser taking 10 of Suzuki’s 32 and a title in 2005, whilst Bimota are next with 11 wins, of which five were taken by Davide Tardozzi in WorldSBK’s first year in 1988.

Find out if Rea can make more history this weekend with the WorldSBK VideoPass!