WSBK: Champion-elect Jonathan Rea has to play the waiting game

Jonathan Rea. INLT 32-917-CON
Jonathan Rea. INLT 32-917-CON

Ballyclare’s Jonathan Rea came within 0.091 seconds of becoming the 2015 World Superbike Champion at Sepang in Malaysia at the weekend, but now has to wait until after the summer break to lift the title at Jerez in September.

Rea had to beat Ducati’s Chaz Davies in race two to take the title after winning race one, but despite his best efforts the champagne remains on ice.

The Kawasaki rider secured his 12th race win of the year in the first 16-lap FIM Superbike World Championship contest at Sepang, and followed it up with a second in race two to keep his podium record going through all 20 races in the season so far.

“I’m really happy after a good weekend and happy to go into the summer break healthy and looking forward to Jerez. With three laps to go in race two, Arturo, my mechanic, gave me a bit of a secret signal and I knew if I went then I could catch Chaz,” said Rea.

“Halfway around the last lap I realised it would be possible. I passed Chaz and went through clean. We had contact but I do not blame him for that, I would do the same, but I almost crashed at the same time.

“I am really happy because we got another first and second on a race weekend and a bagful of points. If I had won the championship here maybe my wife would not have spoken to me for a day or two because she is at home! I just wanted to have a really good weekend and we did that.”

Rea has a total of 452 points after Sepang, Davies 308 and Sykes 295.