Jonathan Rea Claims Another Record
Two weeks ago at the French round of World Superbike, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea became the first racer to earn four-straight World Superbike titles. This occurred after his race-one win from pole at Magny-Cours.
The 31-year-old Northern Irishman followed with the race-two victory – his eight-straight WSBK victory.
With zero pressure heading into the Argentina’s penultimate round at Circuito San Juan Villicum – the 48th track featured in World Superbike in the 24th country to host the series – Rea put in another top performance aboard the ZX-10RR.
After qualifying second behind Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Marco Melandri, Rea bounced back into untouchable mode, claiming the double at Argentina World Superbike 2018.
Rea led every lap of race one on Saturday, and with the win he helped Kawasaki claim its fourth-straight manufacturer’s title.
But Rea had to put in the extra effort Sunday. He started from ninth, and was into second by the fourth lap, chasing down leader Barni Racing Ducati’s Xavi Fores. By lap nine Rea was in the lead, and kept it through the final 21st lap.
The exact podium finishers of each race were:
2018 Argentina World Superbike Race 1
- Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki ZX-10RR
- Marco Melandri, Ducati 1199 R
- Toprak Razgatlioglu, Kawasaki ZX-10RR
2018 Argentina World Superbike Race 2
- Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX-10R
- Xavi Fores, Ducati 1199 R
- Marco Melandri, Ducati 1199 R
Ahead of Argentina, Rea set records for most race wins and most podium finishes. And now he claimed another record – 10-straight WorldSBK race wins, beating the record of nine held by Neil Hodgson since 2003.
Speaking after Sunday’s race two in Argentina, Jonathan Rea said: “It is really special to come to a new track, where everyone starts from zero, and be able to take the same kind of results. To be fast in the hot conditions and keep our tyre that was the key to the race. It was probably the hardest race win from the third row of the grid.
“If I went off line to pass, I could not be creative with my line choices. Everybody was pretty much on the same line so the passes had to be set up a few corners in advance. Once I settled into my rhythm I was able to clock off the lap times and pick off riders one by one.
“When I got clear track to Fores I tracked him down quite fast, but then there was the matter of passing him. Today has been difficult because I caught some kind of virus last night. I was ill all night from one o’clock until five this morning. It was good to have the race at 4pm because most of the day I have been sleeping in the cabin, regaining energy!”
Rea, who now has a record 60 wins in the WorldSBK championship, can claim two more records at the final round at Losail International Circuit in Qatar: most wins in a single season, and most points in a single season.
Rea currently has 520, and with two podiums he can beat the record of most points in a single season (556 achieved by Rea in 2017). He now has 16 wins this season, just shy of the record held by Doug Polen of 17.
The series breaks for two weeks before the final round in Qatar, which is set for October 25-27. Like MotoGP, both races at Losail will be held under the floodlights.
2018 Argentina World Superbike Results, Race 1
|8||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||NLD||00’16.846|
|13||Maximilliam Scheib||MV Agusta||CHL||00’47.736|
2018 Argentina World Superbike Results, Race 2
|9||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||NLD||00’15.715|
2018 World Superbike Point Standings (after 12 of 13 rounds)
|3||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||NLD||324|
|13||Jordi Torres||MV Agusta||ESP||98|
|14||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||ITA||73|
|27||Maximilliam Scheib||MV Agusta||CHL||3|