Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

“While I was in Mo­togp I al­ways kept in the loop with BSB and I re­mem­ber see­ing once that some kid called Jonathan Rea had put it on pole at Mon­dello Park. I thought ‘who the hell is this kid, and how is he get­ting BSB poles al­ready?’.

“A cou­ple of years later, when I’d come back to BSB, Jonathan and I had a great bat­tle at Mon­dello. He was on the HM Plant Honda and I was on the Sto­bart bike, he beat me to take his first ever BSB win and I re­mem­ber turn­ing to him on the podium and say­ing ‘that’s the first of many kid’. We’d had so many good bat­tles, I knew he was the real deal!

“He spent a lot of years with Honda and a lot of peo­ple had writ­ten the bike off but there were times where Jonathan made it dance. He then went to Kawasaki and ab­so­lutely bossed it, even though the rules had changed and in theory wouldn’t suit the Kawasaki as well.

“This year things were even tougher – but he pulled it off. You could liken him to Mar­quez, some­one who has al­ways rid­den his heart out, some­times al­most over the limit but this year, even though there have been races that were re­ally dif­fi­cult, he set­tled for a sec­ond or third and ul­ti­mately be­come cham­pion.”

‘You could liken him to Mar­quez, he al­ways rides his heart out’

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