History was made at Magny-Cours when Jonathan Rea claimed an unprecedented third WorldSBK championship in a row. It was a momentous day for the Northern Irishman, who also notched up the 50th victory of his career.
“To be honest I can't sum up my emotions,” said the triple champion. “I just feel super proud of my team and Kawasaki. It has been such a team effort and even though I'm the guy who rode it over the line, there have been so many people involved to make it possible. Every season is different and special in its own individual way.
“2015 was a seamless year, I joined a high-level team with a well-developed bike. I jumped on a bike that was ready to win and we won. 2016 was possibly more special because we had a completely new ZX-10R, and I'm really proud of my team for the constant development. We had a lot of success last season and although we didn't score as many points, we were able to understand the bike and it was a lot more difficult, so it was a lot harder.”
Having won 35 races for Kawasaki it has been a remarkable three year tenure for Rea with the team and having won 12 times already this year he stressed how important team work has been to his achievements.
“This season we showed the strength of the team, the manufacturer, the strength of Pere [Riba]. We went through some hard winter tests and we worked through the problems, and were able to go out and win at Phillip Island. I have to say thank you to Mr Matsuda and everyone back in Japan as they work so hard to allow me to live my dream. I cross the line but there are too many names on the list who are involved to say thank you.”
With five races remaining in the 2017 season Rea has the opportunity to pad his statistics but the 30 year old is also keen to ensure that he can make a head start on next year.
“Straight after the race I have been thinking about tomorrow and the end of the season. 2018 as a whole looks uncertain and we need to understand how the bike will work with some new regulations. Winter testing will be so important, and when we turn our attentions to 2018, I am 100% confident in my team and Kawasaki that we will always give our 100%.”
Gathering the background information for long articles such as these is an expensive and time-consuming operation. If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting MotoMatters.com. You can help by either taking out a subscription, buying the beautiful MotoMatters.com 2017 racing calendar, by making a donation, or by contributing via our GoFundMe page.