The World Superbike championship goes into the summer time break with Jonathan Rea as soon as once more standing on the verge of a title. The Northern Irishman has been persistently capable of get probably the most from his Kawasaki over the course of the final three years and, whereas there are many requires change in WorldSBK, it’s value taking inventory of simply how spectacular Rea’s feats have been.
When Rea signed for Kawasaki in 2015, his credentials have been clear as a high Superbike rider. 15 wins and 42 podiums whereas driving for Honda over the course of six years had proven his expertise, however it was solely the change to Staff Inexperienced that basically allowed Rea to flourish. Paired with Tom Sykes on the Provec-run squad, Rea has been dominated the collection during the last 34 rounds and declare a outstanding 32 wins, 61 rostrum finishes, in whole, from 68 races – that is a rostrum consequence share of 89.7%.
It is a run for the ages in WorldSBK and one which has, rightly in some quarters, known as for adjustments to be made to the category. These are being mooted as rule adjustments to strive carry the dominant Kawasaki and Ducati squads nearer to the remainder of the sector.
Followers need to see the entrance of the sector extra aggressive with Yamaha, Aprilia, MV Agusta, Honda and BMW all capable of get to the sharp finish, and with in the end with it carry again the ‘golden period’ of WorldSBK. A glance by means of the report books, nevertheless, reveals that almost all seasons have been dominated by solely a pair of producers.
Within the final Golden Period, from 1991 till 2004, for probably the most half WorldSBK was completely dominated by Ducati. The Italian producer claimed virtually two thirds of all wins in the course of the interval with 219 victories and 11 titles. Till the 2003 season, Ducati solely competed in WorldSBK and did not even develop a MotoGP machine. As a substitute, they noticed the worth of racing within the manufacturing derived collection – and it is a lot the identical stance that Kawasaki has tailored throughout their years of dominance.
Lately there was quite a few rules introduced into pressure to attempt to cut back Kawasaki’s benefit. That is one thing that could be very applicable and one thing that hasn’t been objected to by Kawasaki. The inexperienced machines have nonetheless been capable of win, however a lot of that might be attributed to Rea’s efficiency.
His team-mate, Tom Sykes, is without doubt one of the perfect Superbike riders on the planet. When the Englishman retires he may have at the least one world title and it would not be a shock to see him add to that. With 33 race wins and 41 Superpoles his legacy shall be clear, however he has been damage by the regulation adjustments lately. His velocity on the Ninja has been blunted and he has been introduced again to the sector.
The problem at hand in WorldSBK is not regulatory – it is Rea. The 30-year-old is driving a tidal wave of confidence and till somebody can unsettle him, he’ll proceed to paved the way and win races. It is possible there shall be some adjustments to the technical rules however we’re witnessing a rider rewrite the historical past books and it could actually’t be denied that Rea’s capability on the bike and crew set-up are the most important think about that.
It could take a while and the remainder of the sector will certainly shut the hole on Kawasaki – however it’s additionally value having fun with what we’re witnessing, with Rea heading in the right direction to be remembered as the best WorldSBK rider in historical past.
When the 2017 season resumes subsequent month Rea will start with a wholesome 59-point benefit over nearest challenger Sykes and heading in the right direction to develop into the primary rider to win three consecutive WorldSBK world titles and depart him inside attain of matching Carl Fogarty’s all-time report of 4 championships.
Time will inform whether or not the anticipated WorldSBK technical regulation adjustments will halt his cost and allow his rivals to write down a brand new chapter within the historical past of the collection.