Jonathan Rea’s fourth WorldSBK title in succession, thanks to his 67th career race win, confirmed his Greatest Of All Time status in World Superbike racing, wrapping up the title at Magny-Cours with five individual races left to run.
His performances have been truly out of this world since he arrived on planet Kawasaki, overcoming even regulatory initiatives (like reverse grids, and reduced peak engine revs, for example) this year designed make things a bit closer around him. Or, in reality, behind him.
His four successive championship wins equal – but also trump – the four championships secured by Carl Fogarty. Rea’s have all arrived in succession, and his win total surpassed that set by Fogarty many races ago.
So the question is for Rea, what would he say to old family friend Carl, if he had been at Magny Cours to witness Rea’s latest conquest of Superbike’s very own Everest?
“I am not sure what I would say to him, but thanks for the inspiration, because as a six year old starting my motocross dream, and from Northern Ireland – which is probably the most geographically challenged place to go and try to be a world champion – it was a pipe dream,” said Rea.
“But whilst I dreamed of being a world champion one day, it was not realistic. I cannot believe I got there, because Carl was such a star when I was growing up. Aside from Carl I am just grateful to all the people who have helped me on the way. I remember bumping into Carl at a motorway services, and he knew my dad quite well from racing against each other at the Isle of Man TT.
They were talking and I was in awe of this guy because I watched him on TV and we were just going to this 60cc motocross race! He told me good luck and whatever, then he went off and I was just in complete awe. I think I could never put myself – then – in that position. And now I am here, it is a dream.”