Many famous athletes have made their names perfecting their craft in team sports, where teammates and coaches help them unlock new levels of greatness. Think of Michael Jordan in basketball or Lionel Messi and Pelé in football. However, true domination in sport becomes more interesting when athletes compete alone, like Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1. Jonathan Rea is another athlete who has to fight alone on the track, and he has truly dominated the racing world. superbike. with several titles and recordings to his name.
Jonathan Rea’s exploits in the Superbike World Championship have elevated him to the rank of the greatest in the discipline. While still strong and adding to his impressive track record, his closest honors rivals have long retired from the sport. We’ve unearthed some interesting facts to uncover as you watch and enjoy Jonathan Rea, the serial superbike champion.
Early models and influences
Jonathan Rea followed in his father’s footsteps, Johnny, to become a professional rider. Johnny was a former Irish road racing champion who also won the Isle of Man TT. Rea was fortunate enough to have such an established influence and hero to help him as a Young Horseman.
Additionally, Rea has two all-time sports heroes that he admires in his career; American Supercross star Jeremy McGrath and MotoGP champion Kevin Schwartz. McGrath is the most successful Supercross rider with seven championships, earning him the title of “King of Supercross”.
Jonathan Rea has said the Assen circuit in the Netherlands is his favorite track to run. Rea likes the track for its layout and he has had some of his best results in the race.
He currently holds the WorldSBK record for most wins on the same circuit, with thirteen wins at Assen. Plus, he likes that many UK fans still make the trip to watch the race.
A record of six consecutive Superbike World Championships
Jonathan Rea made history by winning his sixth consecutive WorldSBK title in the 2020 season. No other driver has experienced similar feats in the history of the sport, with Carl Fogarty and Fred Merkel in second with two consecutive titles each. Rea began his sustained dominance as soon as he joined the Kawasaki racing team for the 2015 season.
In addition, Jonathan holds the record for most SBK race wins (107), fastest laps (90), most podiums (207) and most points achieved (5,041) in the end of September 2021.
Not just a race number
Jonathan’s choice of race numbers is never by chance, but has a certain level of importance. He claims he always liked numbers 5 and 6. However, Rea didn’t want a low number when he was a rookie 125 cc driver because he felt he hadn’t won a number one. figure. That’s why he ran with number 56 and swapped the number to 65 for his international career.
Rea later opted to race with the number 4 after steadily finishing in the top 4 in the championship. Currently, the six-time champion is running with number 1. He certainly deserved it.
BBC SPOTY finalist
2017 was a highlight in Rea’s career as he won his third consecutive Superbike World Championship. As a thank you for his efforts, motorcycle fans have collected over 10,000 signatures online to request his inclusion on the BBC SPOTY shortlist.
Rea nearly won the award but finished second with 80,567 votes behind Mo Farah’s 83,524 thanks to overwhelming support from fans in his country. In addition, he has won the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award three times in Northern Ireland, the most recent adding to his sixth championship victory.
Like many great road racers, Jonathan Rae began competitive motorcycling in motocross. His raw talent was in the spotlight as he won the 50cc Schoolboy Motocross trophy. Rea went on to win the 60cc British Motocross Championship in 1997. He rose through the motocross ranks before moving to road racing in 2003, competing in the 125cc British Championship.
Rea’s reputation as a future great potential was established when he became the youngest rider to land a pole position in the British Superbike in 2005.
Overcome an injury that could end his career
Jonathan Rea has suffered a few injuries throughout his career. However, in 2004, when his career was in its infancy, he suffered the worst accident of his life, where he broke his femur and had to undergo four operations to correct it.
For context, the femur is the largest and strongest bone in the body. Maybe that’s why Rea’s medics told him he would never ride again. But he held on, was healed, and arguably became the best in the sport.
Brief MotoGP experience
MotoGP is widely regarded as the pinnacle of motorcycle competition. It’s like ‘Formula 1’ two-wheel racing and a driver’s dream to participate. In 2021 Jonathan Rea made his MotoGP debut with the Repsol Honda team as a replacement rider for injured Casey Stoner. It was a brief appearance as Rea was limited to two starts; the San Marino race, where he finished eighth, and the Motorland Aragon race, where he finished seventh.
Since then, Rae has been linked with a permanent return to MotoGP. He declined to rule out current ties to Petronas SRT membership for the 2022 season, saying “never say never”.
Dedicated family man
Behind the exploits of the six-time world champion, there is a beautiful supportive wife and two sons who encourage him. Jonathan enjoys having his family by the track during the race. His wife and two sons make regular appearances at race meetings and are always there to celebrate his victories. According to Rea, his family inspires him because they sacrifice so much to allow him to live his dream.
Rea has publicly stated that when he is running he likes to imagine his wife riding with him, urging him to pass.
In Britain, obtaining a Queen’s Honor comes with a variety of benefits, such as recognizing exceptional service, improving the recipient’s profile, enhancing their reputation and establishing a higher level of trust in the individual. That’s why it’s such a big deal. In 2017, Rea became the third motorcycle rider to be honored by the Queen for his service to the sport of motorcycling.
The other two MBE in sport recipients include Ulsterman and Isle of Man legend Joey Dunlop and World Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty. He really is in good company.
MotoGP nicknames aren’t that rare, although none are as recognizable as Rossi’s.
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