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Jonathan Rea at the 2018 WorldSBK Pirelli Aragon round

Ladies and Gentlemen: JR is back in business

Apr 162018

Cut the RPM, throw adversity and level a hard-fought edge of the playing field but when a competitive package like Jonathan Rea and the factory Kawasaki Racing Team hit their stride then there is little that can get in the way.

The Pirelli Aragon round of WorldSBK at the sweeping Motorland circuit in eastern Spain was the scene for a blast back to the kind of speed and ‘green shade’ of the sport that has become the virulent norm since 2015, and the combo was just 1.1 seconds from a first 1-1 of the season.

The three-times World Champion was on rampant form for the first European fixture of the series and in spite of some damp and cold conditions at the open and expansive venue near Alcañiz. Rea rode to the second fastest time in Superpole and then kept his nerve through a re-started first race on Saturday to clock his 56th career win; edging him to within three of the all-time record total held by Carl Fogarty.


Sunday’s second race was a thriller as Rea and fellow Briton re-enacted their chase and close dice from 2017. It was Davies who would triumph on the blood-red Ducati but Rea was buoyed with a fighting runner-up for his best scorecard of the three rounds of 2018 so far and a 116th podium appearance (joint second in the history of WorldSBK).


“I threw everything into the last lap but I overcooked it into turn 12. But it was fun!” the reigning No.1 said. “The set-up was pretty good, although I was struggling to stop a little bit after the rear tyre had dropped in grip. It seems like right now we have to be very precise all through the race, but I enjoyed it today. I did not know what to expect at the end but I was really happy. I felt strong.”