Jonathan Rea has reflected on his historic fourth consecutive World Superbike title and pinpointed the key elements fuelling his unrelenting run in the series.
The Kawasaki rider stormed to his seventh straight race victory, and 13th of the season, to seal a fourth World Superbike riders’ championship and draw level with Carl Fogarty on the all-time title list.
Rea clinched the 2018 crown in a typical dominant fashion in the opening Magny-Cours race, the same race he secured last year’s title triumph, overtaking team-mate Tom Sykes at the start of lap two before trading lap records with his fellow factory Kawasaki rider before edging out a comfortable time gap to ease off to victory.
Rea, who takes the title with five races to spare, felt his unstoppable World Superbike championship run was ‘always dreamed of’ he concedes it never looked realistic when he first joined Kawasaki in 2015.
“Whilst I always dreamed of being in this position I never thought it to was realistic,” Rea said. “It is absolutely incredible to win four. Sometimes even after winning back-to-back championships, or three in a row I have to say it is hard to find words to speak about what you have just done
“It is like we are riding the wave now with our Ninja ZX-10RR, with incredible people around me.
“It was so fitting that Guim, the team manager, allowed my dad to come and collect the team award on the podium.
“I got really choked up when he came up because it just reminded me of growing up in Northern Ireland and travelling all round with my parents to motocross races. Then getting my first pro ride in roadracing, and my parents letting go. But they have always had my back. So that was super-nice.”
Rea also paid huge credit to his Kawasaki team built around him, headed by his crew chief Pere Riba, for providing him with the package to dominate the past four years and write his own history in World Superbikes.
“Pere and my team gave me a great bike this weekend and the target was clear,” he said. “We have been in this position before, so there was no kind of nervousness or anxiety around, it was really positive energy.
“On track Fabien [Foret] has been analysing what we can do and the team worked super-hard all weekend to get the best out of the bike when the tyre was dropping. In the hot conditions, at the end of the race, that is what we worked towards today.
“The feeling with the bike just kept coming and I was able to knock it off on the last lap and take it all in. I was aware of the crowd there and what I was about to achieve so that last lap there I thought about winning the championship. It is incredible, and incredible journey.”