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20/10/2020 News

Rea and Kawasaki on cloud nine

 

Superbike World Championship - Estoril

Following a difficult weekend in Portugal, Jonathan Rea secured his sixth Superbike World Championship title in a row – a historic triumph for both the British rider and his Kawasaki team.

Superbike

Although Jonathan Rea’s sixth world title may have seemed like a mere formality to some, such was his advantage before the last round of races at the Estoril circuit, the Northern Irishman nonetheless endured an eventful weekend at the end of this unprecedented World Superbike Championship season. Having struggled in practice and started the first race from the fifth row of the grid, the Kawasaki rider fought back to finish Saturday afternoon on the third step of the podium. The next day, following another below-par qualifying session, Rea could only claim fifth place in the Superpole race and then retired from the final race of the season. “I still managed to grab two precious points to go towards Kawasaki claiming another manufacturers’ title,” said the Briton. As it was, before the last race of the season was even under way, Jonathan Rea had already been crowned WorldSBK champion for the sixth time. A true Superbike legend, Rea is now the most successful rider in the sport’s history after amassing 99 victories, 185 podium finishes and 27 pole positions. “When the 2020 calendar was released, I was a little concerned,” he admitted. “I thought that such a short and condensed season would be tough going. There was no Assen, no Imola, no Donington and no San Juan – tracks where we were very strong – and I expected our opponents to really push us to the limit. In the end, we made the most of our personal strengths and those of our bike: stability under braking, motricity, agility in changing direction. Kawasaki listened to what I had to say and the team were fantastic again. I hope that there’s plenty more to come from us together.” Rea’s chief mechanic, Pere Riba, paid tribute to his driver and celebrated their relationship. “Aside from Jonny’s talent, there’s a sense of mutual trust that means we can overcome difficulties when they arise. It never fails to astonish me how his motivation levels just don’t drop.” Alex Lowes finished the season with a sixth place followed by two retirements. Xavi Fores picked up two eighth places and a tenth.

Supersport

Lucas Mahias followed up his victory in the wet at Magny-Cours by taking another chequered flag in the final race of the season in Portugal. The previous day, the Frenchman had crashed out while fighting for the lead. “I’m really happy to sign off on my Supersport career with a victory,” said the rider, who will compete in the Superbike class for the first time next year with Kawasaki Puccetti. “It feels just as good to win here as it did when I won the world championship. I’ve loved every minute of racing in this category and I’m so happy to win this last race.” Phillip Oettl finished his year with a second place and a fifth place.

The championship

Requiring only three points in Estoril to claim his sixth title, Jonathan Rea never looked like falling short. The Kawasaki rider finished the season on 360 points, 55 points ahead of his closest challenger Scott Redding. Alex Lowes dropped down a place at the last and ended his first season with Kawasaki in sixth position. Xavi Fores moves up two places to finish thirteenth, on 61 points. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias and Phillip Oettl secured second and third places respectively behind Italy’s Andrea Locatelli.

 

CATEGORY RIDER RACE 1 SUPERPOLE RACE RACE 2 CHAMPIONSHIP
SUPERBIKE Jonathan Rea 4th 5th 14th 1st (360 points)
  Alex Lowes 6th DNF DNF 6th (189 points)
  Xavi Fores 8th 10th 8th 13th (61 points)
SUPERSPORT Lucas Mahias DNF   1st 2nd (229 points)
  Philiip Oettl 2nd   5th 3rd (162 points) 

 

  • Superbike World Championship - Estoril

  • Superbike World Championship - Estoril

  • Superbike World Championship - Estoril

  • Superbike World Championship - Estoril

  • Superbike World Championship - Estoril - Supersport

  • Superbike World Championship - Estoril - Supersport

  • Superbike World Championship - Estoril - Supersport

  • Superbike World Championship - Estoril - Supersport