With an incredible performance last season, and lap times that rivals the pace of MotoGP, will Jonathan Rea make history in 2017?
After a well-earned rest from their 2016 season win, Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki are have returned to the track for pre-season testing, and boy are the tearing it up. Rea’s performance during testing has put him in the top ranks each day, and some of his speeds challenge the paces of his MotoGP compatriots directly.
If Rea keeps this performance up, he’ll be in good stead to take home a third rider title championship – something which has yet to occur in the history of World Super Bike. One might think that Rea would be salivating at the mouth at the prospect of clinching a third-straight win for himself, but he is doing his best to assure that’s not the case:
“I’m not thinking about three in a row. I don’t think you can. I’m looking at it as 2017 and what I’ve done in the past, we’ve reset to zero. Last year, when I won, I really enjoyed winning it. I really made the most of it at home. When the time came to start focusing on training and performance I started quite early. Winter tests went super smooth and the bike’s improved. Step-by-step I’ve got stronger as well. The relationship with the bike is even stronger. “ – Jonathan Rea
Perhaps Rea’s looking to avoid placing any untoward pressure on himself or his fellow teammates, but it’s difficult to argue against his position of power within the team and the potential of securing an enduring legacy for Kawasaki. Though his influence is enough to even cause Tom Sykes to admit that he would benefit from adopting a similar riding style to Rea’s, Jonathan is calmly looking ahead to what can only be called a “fresh start”.
“I’m just looking at this year as completely new. I forget what’s happened in the past and everyone starts from zero in two week’s time. That’s so exciting. I understand how to win a championship. I know our strengths and weaknesses. We’ve just got to worry about ourselves.” – Jonathan Rea
That’s confidence personified. It will take a lot to derail the early benchmark that Rea has set in testing.