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Jonathan Rea

Jonathan Rea joined a small but remarkable group of WorldSBK champions in 2016 as he won back-to-back titles. Only three other riders have managed this feat.

Riding Number:
1
Class:
WSBK
Date of birth:
2 February 1987
Place of birth:
Ballymena
Hometown:
Castletown

In 2015 ’JR’ had been almost the most dominant champion in the history of the category. In 2016, on a new model, he resisted greater title challenges but still came out on top. As a series winner first time out on the Ninja ZX-10R and then a champion again last year, Rea could make outright history if he wins the riders’ title in 2017. No rider has ever won three on a row…

The talents of former junior motocross champion Rea were evident from an early age and he made the jump to roadracing in 2003. Riding in British Supersport earned his ride in BSB Championship, becoming the youngest rider to score a pole position in this prestigious national championship, in 2005.

He became runner-up in the 2007 BSB title but by then his gaze alighted on the WSB paddock - and the FIM Supersport World Championship class in particular.

Runner-up in the WSS class in 2008, he made the leap to WSB racing even before the end of the season. As soon as his chances of winning the Supersport title were gone he took over a Superbike ride with his team in the final round in Portugal, scoring points and impressing all with his pace.

His rookie World SBK season saw him finish inside the top five, with two wins mixed into his total of eight podiums. A top result for a first season rider and a new star was born inside the SBK paddock. From 2009 until the end of 2014 Rea proved to be the top Honda rider in the SBK championship.

In 2010 he went one better in terms of championship results and posted four wins, a single season total that he would not match again until 2014. He was on course for a top three finish until he was injured with two rounds to go. In 2011 he placed ninth after a pre-season injury affected his start and then a mid-season fall caused him to miss too much of the season, meaning he finished an artificially low ninth overall. Despite his injury problems he still won two races.

Four race wins in 2012 saw Jonathan fifth in the title chase but bad luck with injury was to return in 2013. A crash at the German round, on an oil spill, broke his femur and finished his season. He ended up ninth overall and kept up his record of winning at least one race every season since he joined SBK full-time.

That record was added to in 2014, as he rode to third place in the championship overall, his best ever overall finish to that point, with four race wins to make a career total of 15 before the start of the 2015 season.

His astounding 2015 included 14 wins in his haul of 23 podium finishes, and a championship win that was sewn up long before the end of the racing year.

Last year Rea was a clear champion as he joined the back-to-back club in what was only his second ever Kawasaki year. Now he goes for history and three in a row.

Facebook:  JonathanReaOfficial

Twitter:  @jonathanrea


CAREER RESUME

  1. 2016

    Champion: Superbike World Championship, nine wins, 23 podiums, two pole positions, 6 fastest laps.

  2. 2015

    Champion: Superbike World Championship, 14 wins, 23 podiums, two pole positions, 11 fastest laps.

  3. 2014

    3rd Superbike World Championship, four wins.

  4. 2013

    9th Superbike World Championship, one win.

  5. 2012

    5th Superbike World Championship, two wins.

  6. 2011

    9th Superbike World Championship, two wins.

  7. 2010

    4th Superbike World Championship, four wins.

  8. 2009

    5th Superbike World Championship, two wins.

  9. 2007

    2nd British Superbike Championship, five wins

  10. 2006

    4th British Superbike Championship

  11. 2005

    16th British Superbike Championship

  12. 2008

    2nd Supersport World Championship, three wins.