REA BEATABLE, BUT ONLY JUST!
In-form Brit continues to stamp authority on WSB title race
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