Jonathan Rea scored a career new highpoint in going 24 points ahead of Alvaro Bautista, as he had never won three in a WorldSBK race weekend before. They were all impressive wins - and all different.
One wet, one short and one long and pressurised against a young pretender that is surely soon going to win one of his own soon, Pucetti Kawasaki’s Toprak Razgatlioglu.mBut they were all Rea’s big trophies at the end of what was a remarkable weekend in so many ways.
“In the wet yesterday we were incredible; the feeling I had with the bike, the mechanical traction I had in the wet, was very good,” Rea told bikesportnews over a can of Monster.
“This morning in the sprint race with Tom, who is one of the best riders in this circuit, I was able to analyze where he was strong and make my move. Unfortunately the race was red flagged before the end.”
To win the second race this afternoon was really special - the best of the weekend. Another nice fight with Toprak, who was really strong in some areas of the track and I was able to be strong in others.
“A positive weekend and I am looking forward now to the next few races, because I feel like there are some good tracks coming for us now. I seriously did not expect these kind of results this weekend.”
Rea praised his team physio, as he had none of the arm pump that has plagues many of his previous Donington performances, “I was really strong at the end and set a 1’27 on the penultimate lap to create a small gap to Toprak, then he responded on the final lap, but by that stage the damage was done and I was able to cross the line with a victory.”
Rea made the very most of his Donington weekend, especially as his big championship rival Bautista was unable to challenge, despite his strong and confident ride to third in the final race. Not a red day again after so many in the early season.
“We have got to pick our moments,” said Rea, “and the expectation was not to win today in that kind of fight. But I felt great with the bike straight away, and straight up we were the strongest today. It is nice.
They do not have the advantage here to have sixth gear and hang onto sixth gear and pull tenths of a second on the straight. Donington is not like that, you really have to be at one with the bike here. My crew did an awesome job since FP1 and we were able to arrive with a great race set-up that I was able to manage really well.”
Razgatlioglu was a thorn in Rea’s flesh throughout, and Rea heaped praise on the 22-year-old Turkish rider, after he was asked if he really trusted him to race that close.
“Toprak is one of the most talented riders on the grid and I trust him until he makes a big mistake. So I give him a lot of trust now. He is the kind of guy you can throw into turn one with no brakes and he will come out fine because his skills on a motorcycle are insane.
“While I do not feel comfortable with him ‘+0’ behind me I have a lot of trust in him that he is not going to do something stupid. The fight was nice because we were strong in different parts of the track and he was really strong in braking in the last sector.”
Rea now heads to another track that very few think will suit the Ducati more than the Kawasaki, and almost one whole race worth of points ahead after eight of 13 rounds.