WorldSBK 2021: Jonathan Rea begins seventh title tilt with 100 win target

Jonathan Rea could kick his bid for an unprecedented seventh WorldSBK title at Aragon in fine style by becoming the first rider to clinch 100 race wins

KRT Jonathan Rea racing WorldSBK

There aren’t many milestones left for Jonathan Rea to crack in the WorldSBK Championship but ahead of this weekend’s long awaited 2021 season opener in Aragon he stands a fine chance of bookending his seasons with a record 100th win in the first and a seventh title in the last.

Though this is the second season be hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, prompting organisers to push the traditional February Australian start date back to a more European-orientated campaign that begins in May, Rea remains at the height of his powers in a series he has commanded for six straight years.

As such, Rea heads into the season with a familiar target affixed to his back but this time though he will be fighting it out aboard the latest generation KawasakI ZX-10RR, which has been developed with input from Rea himself to ensure ‘Team Green’ retains its grip.

Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja and ZX10RR (2021) Review | Jonathan Rea WorldSBK For the Road Tested

While a seventh title is his long-term aim, in the short-term he has his eyes set on becoming the first rider to bring up a ‘ton’ in terms of race wins, having narrowly missed out on a shot at doing so in the 2020 finale at Estoril.

“I am super-excited to go racing again because it feels like last season was so long ago. We have had some really good testing recently, where I have felt good with the bike and it is going to be so nice to get on track with everybody else to understand where we are. 

“Aragon is a track we have very happy memories of after last year. We were able to be strong in the Motorland weekend and the following Teruel round. The target is to start this year strong and try to build some momentum into the season.

While he starts the year as the favourite, Rea is expected to come up against a better prepared set of rivals, most notably Scott Redding, who has the benefit of one year under his belt aboard the Ducati, while Toprak Razgatlioglu on the Yamaha is also tipped to challenge.

“It is going to be a tough couple of weeks in succession with two back-to-back rounds - but kick-starting the racing into action at Aragon is great because we just finished testing there. 

“I have a good feeling with the bike. The new Ninja ZX-10RR is definitely a step forward from last year. I am super-excited about it and I feel ready.”

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