‘Proud’ Rea takes stock of WorldSBK| Gordon Ritchie | WorldSBK
You have to have an extraordinary degree of self-motivation and determination to secure multiple titles at anything, and it is no different for six-time WorldSBK champion, Jonathan Rea.
In addition, Rea has always been able to step away from the ‘day job’ and look at the sport from outside as well as inside. He agreed that right now the championship is in extremely good health.
“It’s good. It’s really good,” he said near the end of his media meeting at Most last weekend. “In Donington for example, there were so many fans trackside. That was really nice to be a part of that show.
“Here this weekend, of course more than last year. Superbike is good because everybody is talking about it. Even our friends in the other championships, talking about the racing. I’m proud to be part of that. I think it helps everybody. It helps out us riders profile as well. The championship is getting some respect, as well. At the end, it’s our hobby and our job, but it’s entertainment as well.
“I think three very different riders, manufacturers and nationalities in the front is really healthy and good. I’m proud to be part of it.”
Rea has already voted with his feet by signing up for two more years with KRT, even though he does seem to need some kind of machine upgrade to allow the green bikes and riders to remain competitive.
“It’s tough,” Rea admitted. “I need to really go deep to find my best now every weekend. I’m pushing my team a lot. We’re getting everything out of it and we’re there, but everyone is pushing so hard right now. Everyone is on the limit.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu was a former fellow Kawasaki rider for Rea when he came up to Superbike, and in that period of time Rea helped him to learn and grow. When asked if he feels annoyed that he helped him out in the beginning, Rea laughed it off, saying, “No… he was a Kawasaki young rider coming through.
“I feel it’s also my job to help young riders in this championship. Also when riders are improving. I’ve been here since 2009, so it’s also about keeping the level really high in Superbike. You don’t win a championship here for free. He’s done a really good job last year. He’s riding incredible. Of course, I believe in myself, so I think when all is good, I’m one of the best riders out there. So, if he beats me, then respect. He’s the better guy on the day.”