On the same weekend that Kawasaki won the WSBK Manufacturers’ Championship, Jonathan Rea wrote his name in the history books by racing to his tenth consecutive victory.
Heavy overnight rain the second race day at the all new San Juan Villicum circuit threw up even more unknown challenges for the field, but it made no difference to Rea, who dominated the race once again.
Rea, launching from ninth on the grid after his Race One win on Saturday, had to use all his skill to pass his rivals on a new track surface that had one clear racing line. Into second place by Lap Four, Rea chased down the fast-starting leader Xavi Fores on the Barni Ducati on Lap Nine and set about recording his unique fifth double winning weekend in succession.
The win was even more impressive given that the four-time champion was taken ill on Saturday evening and was awake most of the night.
In recording his 55th victory on a Kawasaki, as part of his career record of 70 race wins in all, Rea has now equalled the greatest number of wins scored with a single manufacturer in WSBK racing.
Rea’s 16th win of the season has also taken him to within one victory of equalling the record of race wins in a single year, with two races remaining at the final round.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “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!”