The Northern Irishman doesn’t make many mistakes and he’s always ready to capitalise on those of his rivals.
On Sunday it was fellow British rider Scott Redding’s mistake when he tried to retake the lead that Rea took advantage of.
Kawasaki rider Rea has claimed over 100 victories in WSBK by, amazingly, being more risk averse than his rivals.
It’s very rare that his team goes to the starting grid with question marks.
Rea and his crew chief, Pere Riba, generally use tried and tested settings rather than looking for a magic bullet on their tough weekends.
But Rea and Kawasaki team-mate Alex Lowes both scored strongly on the final day of action at round six of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship event in the Czech Republic at the weekend.
In the 10-lap Superpole Race, Rea was third – his 200th podium finish in WSBK – and then replicated that result in a full distance Race Two. Lowes was seventh and then sixth in Sunday’s races
In the 11am Superpole race, Rea rode to third place for an unprecedented 200th podium finish in WSBK racing, the vast majority scored while using Kawasaki machinery.
On the slowdown lap he met members of his KRT squad and they released 200 balloons into the clear blue skies above the circuit to celebrate the six-time champions’ latest career landmark. He even extended it to a new total of 201 career podiums after race two.
Lowes, starting from ninth place on the grid, finished the Superpole Race seventh, putting himself further up the third row of the grid for the afternoon’s race two.
Rea set a new lap record in the ‘sprint’ race with a 1’31.996 lap time as he harried initial race leader Toprak Razgatlioglu early in the 10-lap contest. He was to make a small error and run off track, taking to the escape road at T1, with one lap to go.
In doing so he lost time to Razgatlioglu, but not his immediate second place track position. Redding finally passed Jonathan, who finished third.
Rea’s determination to score a race win was clear in the Superpole race but in Race Two he had to fight through from fourth to take up third place as part of a small but combative group featuring Andrea Locatelli and Lowes.
Eventual race winner Redding and second-places rider Razgatlioglu had already made a significant gap back to Rea and third was the best result Rea could take away after a sometimes tough weekend of work, including two crashes on Saturday.
In the overall championship, Rea still leads by three points, from Razgatlioglu and he is 50 points ahead of Redding.
Navarra in Spain hosts the seventh round of the WSBK Championship, between 20-22 August but before the next round KRT will have a test session at their home circuit in Barcelona, on August 12-13.
“In the Superpole race I was completely on the limit, extracting all the potential from our Ninja ZX-10RR,” said Rea.
“It was a fun race but I made a small mistake and got sucked in behind Toprak a little bit. In the second race I had opted for the hard rear tyre, the more conservative option, because I never did many laps with the SCX tyre, except in the Superpole race for 10 laps.
“My early rhythm was OK but I got a little bit stuck behind Locatelli, but after I went past him could not close the gap to Scott and Toprak. They had better rhythm today so it was more about third.
“I did not accept that on the grid but I thought maybe in the second part of the race it would come to me because I had the hard tyre, but I started with less grip and the drop off was the same.
“We are only halfway through the championship and the twists and turns that have happened already can happen in the second half of the season as well.
“At least I am at the top with a very small points gap to Toprak but we know who we are fighting and what we are fighting with. We have a lot of experience to lean on from the past, so I feel in a good position.”
Photos courtesy Kawasaki Europe
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here
World Superbike Championship standings after round 6 in the Czech Republic:
1 Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki 266
2 Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha 263 -3
3 Scott Redding, Ducati 216 -50
4 Alex Lowes, Kawasaki 143 -123
5 Michael Ruben, Rinaldi Ducati 135 -131
6 Garrett Gerloff, Yamaha 127 -139
7 Tom Sykes, BMW 121 -145
8 Andrea Locatelli, Yamaha 119 -147
9 Michael Van Der Mark, BMW 113 -153
10 Chaz Davies, Ducati 89 -177
11 Alvaro Bautista, Honda 84 -182
12 Axel Bassani, Ducati 73 -193
13 Leon Haslam, Honda 68 -198
14 Lucas Mahias, Kawasaki 36 -230
15 Tito Rabat, Ducati 26 -240
16 Kohta Nozane, Yamaha 25 -241
17 Isaac Vinales, Kawasaki 19 -247
18 Eugene Laverty, BMW 14 -252
19 Jonas Folger, BMW 8 -258
20 Christophe Ponsson, Yamaha 7 -259
21 Leandro Mercado, Honda 7 -259
22 Marvin Fritz, Yamaha 6 -260
23 Loris Cresson, Kawasaki 3 -263
24 Andrea Mantovani, Kawasaki 2 -264
25 Luke Mossey, Kawasaki 2 -264