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.

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Jonathan Rea – 2019 WorldSBK Round 11, Magny-Cours

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.

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Jonathan Rea – 2019 WorldSBK Round 11, Magny-Cours

Jonathan Rea

“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.

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Jonathan Rea – 2019 WorldSBK Round 11, Magny-Cours

“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.”

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Jonathan Rea on the podium with van der Mark and Lowes – 2019 WorldSBK Round 11, Magny-Cours

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.

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Jonathan Rea’s team celebrates in the pits – 2019 WorldSBK Round 11, Magny-Cours

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.

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Jonathan Rea – 2019 WorldSBK Round 11, Magny-Cours

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

1 Jonathan Rea 544
2 Alvaro Bautista 415
3 Alex Lowes 279
4 Michael Van Der Mark 274
5 Toprak Razgatlioglu 260
6 Leon Haslam 239
7 Chaz Davies 223
8 Tom Sykes 209
9 Marco Melandri 171
10 Sandro Cortese 122
11 Jordi Torres 117
12 Loris Baz 114
13 Michael Ruben Rinaldi 109
14 Markus Reiterberger 68
15 Leandro Mercado 60
16 Eugene Laverty 54
17 Leon Camier 42
18 Alessandro Delbianco 22
19 Ryuichi Kiyonari 22
20 Lorenzo Zanetti 21
21 Peter Hickman 14
22 Thomas Bridewell 12
23 Yuki Takahashi 11
24 Michele Pirro 10
25 Samuele Cavalieri 6
26 Sylvain Barrier 3
27 Hector Barbera 3
28 Takumi Takahashi 1