Jonathan Rea crowned 2019 WSBK Champion
Jonathan Rea has made history claiming his fifth WorldSBK Championship win over the weekend at Magny-Cours, not only as the first rider to do so, but also making this his fifth straight Championship title in a row. Rea took the win after finishing second in the Tissot-Superpole race and then winning Race Two, with the title in reach after Bautista was forced to retire.
It was a tough early season for Jonathan Rea with Alvaro Bautista looking unstoppable, however Rea showed why he already had four WSBK titles to his name as the season progressed, and became the World Championship for a record fifth time in the best way possible – with a race win.
“I am just super-happy. It has been the biggest challenge to date and we have just chipped away. The beginning of the season was really tough, to be beaten the way we were. But to mentally accept the challenge and keep working as a team – also away from the track – we kept strong. I have worked and kept working. We all go to each weekend looking for the opportunity and we have had lots of opportunities this year, and won a lot of races. It is beyond my wildest dreams to win the title here because after four rounds I would have bitten your hand off if you told me I was going to be champion.
“With yesterday’s race being quite chaotic I was nervous going into today because I did not understand the points situation. The target all weekend was to try and – realistically – win it in Argentina, so we could go to Qatar with less pressure. But we got another opportunity today and I felt a little bit better with the bike compared to yesterday. With the temperature going up the pace was not so fast I was able to manage the bike, and I could see my opportunity with Michael. He was struggling in some areas where we were strong. And we were weaker in some areas where he was strong. So I was putting that all together, learning that for a few laps and then putting my head down and getting the job done. Massive thanks to Kawasaki, the team, my sponsors, my family, all my friends and everybody in my corner. I am the guy taking the plaudits but it is such a big team effort and I am fortunate to be in this position.”
The eventual timing of Jonathan’s latest title success was somewhat unexpected, despite his strong podiums showings in the first two Magny Cours races. Rea had a genuine opportunity to take the crown after his only title rival Alvaro Bautista collided with Razgatlioglu and had to retire. Jonathan’s race two victory was his 12th win of the season.
Rea had aimed to win all the French WorldSBK races before the final contest of the weekend and he finally took his 83rd career victory by 0.862 seconds from Michael van der Mark. Jonathan’s latest title win comes with two rounds to spare, with 2019 seeing the rider claim 28-podiums including 12 wins, out of the 31 races so far, alongside six Superpoles.
Rea’s championship points total is now 544 with Alvaro Bautista a distant second on 415, with the next round a flyaway event, and will be held at the El Villicum circuit in Argentina, between the 11th and 13th of October.
2019 WorldSBK Standings
|4||Michael Van Der Mark||274|
|13||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||109|