DOUBLE PODIUM KEEPS REA'S DREAM ALIVE
Jonathan Rea scored third and second places on the final day of race action at the Circuito San Juan Villicum which means that the final round in November will be the championship decider.
A thrilling finale to the intense track action that characterised the return to the Circuito San Juan Villicum in Argentina means that Jonathan’s championship aspirations are very much alive after he finished ahead of championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) in Race Two.
Only Razgatlioglu or Rea can now be crowned champion, despite Scott Redding (Ducati) winning the final Villicum race from Rea on Sunday afternoon.
In the Tissot-Superpole race, as always run over ten laps, Rea could not quite get into contention with race winner Razgatlioglu and second place man Scott Redding at the end, but Jonathan scored yet another podium to add to his points score.
In Race Two, over 21 laps, Rea was involved in a tense high speed dogfight with his two main championship rivals Redding and Razgatlioglu, plus up-and-coming Independent rider Axel Bassani (Ducati) for a while.
The action was thrilling and at times tactile, with Rea unable to match the pace of Redding in the second half of the race, but using all his experience and a strong bike set-up to finish one place ahead of Razgatlioglu, trimming his championship advantage back to 30 points.
The final result of the two Villicum races on Sunday is that long-standing championship fight between Razgatlioglu and Rea will go to the final round, with 62 points available to any rider who can win all thee of the Indonesian races. Rea now has 501 points to Razgatlioglu’s 531
The scheduled WorldSBK finale of 2021 - the 13th round in all - is planned to take place at the all-new Mandalika International Street Circuit, located on the Island of Lombok, between 19-21 November.
Jonathan Rea said: “I was really happy with how I felt on the bike, and more so in Race Two. We did something really strange with the bike set-up that you wouldn’t consider and it transformed the bike, especially the grip level I had from the beginning. I have been struggling all weekend to make the tyres work - and then I had it. The combination of SC2 front and SCX rear tyre really worked. Today I had traction and feeling and I could play with the bike. In Race Two I just lost a bit of time behind Toprak and Scott was able to really go. I really want thank my team today, especially Pere because he never gave up investigating my problems. In this weekend, in this race, we could find something good. We won’t give up and we will keep working really hard. I enjoyed the race and I enjoyed being here in Argentina, so thank you to all the fans who came out to see us. It was really nice to see them. I am really looking forward to Indonesia.”