Temptingly, the Irishman closed out the season with the winners trophy in his hands and 99 wins against his name, an impressive achievement in itself. At Motorland in Aragon for the first race of a delayed 2021 season, yet another historic moment in World Superbike history occurred when Rea won the first of three races across the weekend and crossed the line as the winner of 100 World Superbike races.
A feat that is unlikely to be matched any time soon – if at all – the 100 win status was marked by the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) with an on-track celebration and the announcement of 100 special commemorative T Shirts, each numbered and personally signed by Jonathan with proceeds going to two charities, one in Rea’s native Ireland and one in Catalonia, where KRT is based.
Such is the following for the superbike phenomenon that all shirts at €100 each were sold overnight much to the delight of AWARE, a depression charity for Northern Ireland offering support and education for people living with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, and NEXE a Catalan Foundation offering help and support to children with severe disabilities so that they can enjoy the rights that all children deserve.
Typical of a born winner, Rea added further to his win tally at Aragon with yet another win which is an encouraging sign for a new season where regulation changes and new machinery abound yet, at Motorland at least, Jonathan Rea was simply imperious.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “We reached 100 race wins and it was done with a lot of hard work. Over the off season Kawasaki really dug in with a new bike and we were able to make a step. Also in the off season I worked really hard on myself and I know I improved in all areas. I was born with the dream of racing motorbikes, and going with my parents to ride around Motocross tracks in 1993, ’94. The history is mad.
Getting the opportunity to come to the world championship, in 2008 in Supersport, and straight away after my rookie season going to Superbike. Taking my first race win at Misano in 2009 as a rookie and now with 100 wins… It’s mad! Each and every race win is special, and I have never been a statistics guy, but when I was closing in on 100 wins that was a big goal. It is such a cool number and a career landmark. I am very proud of it.”