Jonathan Rea exceeds ‘legend’ Haga to have longest winning career in WorldSBK

Jonathan Rea's victory in the Estoril WorldSBK Superpole Race sees him exceed Noriyuki Haga to have the longest race-winning career in the series

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team

Jonathan Rea notched up yet another record to add to his repertoire during Round 3 of the 2022 WorldSBK Championship in Estoril as he surpassed Noriyuki Haga to become the rider with the longest-winning career in the series.

With 117 wins and an unprecedented six WorldSBK Championship titles to his name, there aren’t many new accolades left without the Ulsterman’s name affixed to them.

However, this is the second event in a row he has achieved a new feat with Assen marking the first time a rider has achieved 100 wins with a single manufacturer. It also extended his record for wins at a single circuit, his tally at Assen now standing at 17 victories.

Now he can lay claim to have the longest winning career in WorldSBK as his success in the Superpole Race at Estoril came some 13 years (12 years, 11 months and 1 day to be accurate) after his maiden victory at Misano on the Ten Kate Honda in 2009.

His success sees him surpass Noriyuki Haga, whom Rea fittingly defeated on that day in a thrilling last lap battle in Italy that also involved the Japanese rider’s Ducati team-mate Michel Fabrizio.

“Nori Haga, what a WorldSBK legend! So, if I win this weekend, that's the stat? Wow, what a stat. But that's irrelevant. I hope I can win another race in the rest of the year, that's a possibility with a great team around me. 

“But the focus is just being competitive. Get that race win out of my head. But if I do get that stat, remind me, because Haga was a childhood hero of mine and what a great ambassador for WorldSBK.”