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Superbike champion Jonathan Rea: we are riding a world wave

World champion Jonathan Rea celebrates with his wife and children on the podium at Magny-Cours, France
Willis Marshall

Ballyclare rider Jonathan Rea has reflected on his historic fourth consecutive World Superbike title and pinpointed the key elements fuelling his unrelenting run in the series.

The 31-year-old County Antrim rider became the first rider in World Superbike History to win four World titles consecutively putting him in the all time greatest World Superbike rider list.

The Kawasaki rider stormed to his seventh straight race victory, and 13th of the season, to seal a fourth World Superbike riders’ championship and draw level with Carl Fogarty on the all-time title list.

Rea clinched the 2018 crown in a typical dominant fashion in the opening Magny-Cours race, the same race he secured last year’s title triumph, overtaking team-mate Tom Sykes at the start of lap two before trading lap records with his fellow factory Kawasaki rider before edging out a comfortable time gap to ease off to victory.

“While I always dreamed of being in this position, I never thought it was realistic,” Rea said.

“It is absolutely incredible to win four. Sometimes even after winning back-to-back championships, or three in a row I have to say it is hard to find words to speak about what you have just done

“It is like we are riding the wave now with our Ninja ZX-10RR, with incredible people around me.

“It was so fitting that Guim (Roda), the team manager, allowed my dad to come and collect the team award on the podium.

“I got really choked up when he came up because it just reminded me of growing up in Northern Ireland and travelling all round with my parents to motocross races.

“Then getting my first pro ride in road racing, and my parents letting go. But they have always had my back,'' he added.

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