Kawasaki apologises to Jonathan Rea for team ‘not working 100%’

KRT boss Guim Roda suggests the team's failure to give '100%' at all rounds is what could cost Jonathan Rea the 2021 WorldSBK title despite his four crashes

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team

Kawasaki Racing Team boss Guim Roda has expressed an apology towards its lead rider Jonathan Rea for failing to give ‘100 per cent’ at certain races, ahead of an uphill task to retain his WorldSBK Championship crown

Rea came into the 2021 WorldSBK season bidding to continue a run of unprecedented success that has seen him achieve six consecutive titles with Kawasaki.

However, having largely dominated in all six of those championship successes, Rea has come up against a formidable opponent in Yamaha's Toprak Razgatlioglu in his bid for a seventh, with the former Kawasaki protege taking the fight to the Ulsterman in what has been an evenly-matched tussle.

With 11 wins to his rival's 13, Rea will freely admit some good fortune has been on his side.

Indeed, while his four failures to score this season (Donington Park, Most and twice at Portimao) were the result of his own errors leading to a crash, Razgatlioglu’s three DNFs were the result of other factors outside of his control - two for technical issues, one when he was swiped out by Garrett Gerloff at Assen.

Despite this, it is the Turk that holds a comfortable 30 point advantage heading into the 2021 WorldSBK finale in Indonesia, meaning a trio of podiums at Mandalika will be enough for him to seal the title even if Rea wins all three.

An unfamiliar situation for Kawasaki, which has ceded just one WorldSBK title since 2013, though Rea’s mistakes on track have arguably made the difference from a points' perspective, KRT boss Roda makes the startling suggestion that it is in fact the team that shoulders the blame should he fail to win.

“30 points is not an easy distance but in racing, anything can happen. Our target is to keep pushing and try to hope other riders become competitive too. There’s a lot of fighting to do. Scott is so strong, there are young riders coming, Alex will be 100% fit in Indonesia. Many things can happen so let’s see.

“I think we suffered a lot with a little bit of self-confidence on the team’s side and, honestly, we did not work 100% in some races this year and this penalises at the end. I have to say sorry to Jonny because he’s a great rider. You always keep learning. 

“Yamaha and Toprak are doing a good job so he’s a good rider to fight with. Redding has done a very good job. We just need to try to understand how much we can always take our full gas potential and keep trying.”