REA BEATABLE, BUT ONLY JUST!

In-form Brit con­tin­ues to stamp au­thor­ity on WSB ti­tle race

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - WSB RE­PORTER IN SPAIN

Doom­say­ers who’d claimed that Jonathan Rea would win ev­ery race in 2017 were proved wrong in race two at Aragon – long be­fore he could match the mag­i­cal nine-in-a-row record set by Colin Ed­wards in 2002 and matched by Neil Hodg­son in 2003.

But af­ter tak­ing a still-as­tound­ing five-in-a-row right up to race one in Spain, Rea proved again that the new Ninja ZX-10RR re­mains the one to beat.

Rea also saw his­tory re­peat it­self at Mo­tor­land. Back in 2009 he be­came the man who gave the UK its 100th WSB win, at the Nür­bur­gring. And in race one in Aragon he was the one who clicked that to­tal over to 200, just be­fore Chaz Davies beat him in race two to make that to­tal 201.

Rea has been the class act of 2017 and now en­joys a 50-point lead over Du­cati man Davies. How­ever, af­ter his race one win he was sur­prised to be asked the ques­tion that most were think­ing: has his start been so strong that the ti­tle is al­ready in the bag?

“It’s ridicu­lous to think about that and it is dis­re­spect­ful to all my ri­vals be­cause they are so strong,” he said, not hold­ing back.

“As trends have it, th­ese first tracks of the sea­son have al­ways been strong for me and we go into some tracks where it is stronger for the oth­ers as well. The lead is nice, and it cre­ates some pres­sure for the oth­ers. It is al­ways com­fort­ing for me to lead from the front be­cause you do not have to win ev­ery race. But it is ridicu­lous to think about a cham­pi­onship right now

be­cause we are not even a quar­ter of the way through the sea­son.”

Rea was dan­ger­ously close to be­ing beaten by Davies on Satur­day be­fore the Du­cati rider crashed out, but his as­ser­tion that his ri­vals are still strong gained cred­i­bil­ity when his very pub­lic claims that the Du­cati is faster than his Kawasaki were proved cor­rect on the long straight at Aragon.

He even knew that his race one win came af­ter Davies crashed out de­fend­ing his line with one lap to go. Rea also said that al­though his bike was bet­ter in places, there was no liv­ing with Davies on the back straight.

“I don’t know how we are go­ing to man­u­fac­ture some ac­cel­er­a­tion off the chi­cane onto the back straight be­cause that is where I get an­ni­hi­lated,” he said on Satur­day.

“I put my­self in a few dif­fer­ent po­si­tions when I went to the front and he just came past so fast. The only thing I could do in that race was ride shot­gun and put as much pres­sure on as I could. It was go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult win­ning a last lap bat­tle with Chaz in that last sec­tor, where he was so strong.”

Rea’s one-man win­ning jug­ger­naut was fi­nally halted in Spain but his lead over his fel­low Bri­tons – Davies is 50 points back and Sykes 54 – means he is still in the driv­ing seat as he works to se­cure an un­prece­dented three WSB ti­tles in a row.

‘It was go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult win­ning a last lap bat­tle with Chaz’ JONATHAN REA

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