Poor Old Johnny Rea no longer
As the song from one-hit wonders, Dixies Midnight Runners fades, Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Rea had Irish eyes smiling as he lifted the World Superbike title after a dominant season. Rea has always shown he had the talent but struggled for pace in previous years. Ironically, he didn’t finish on the podium at the last round, as he and teammate Tom Sykes both opted for the new compound tyre and they both had forgettable races, struggling with blistering front tyres in the latter stages and unpredictable grip early on. After finishing fourth, the first time he has missed the podium in 20 races, he donned helmets from the only two other Irish riders to win world titles, Brian Reid and Joey Dunlop, who won the F2 and F1 titles respectively in 1986. The victory is huge for the Irish fans and that yellow helmet was no replica, it was Joey Dunlop’s, carried to the event by family members.
With Kawasaki already announcing a significantly improved new ZX-10R for 2016, Rea says he is looking forward to the challenge of defending his title next year. With the form he has shown, Ireland is confident that their man has the goods to do it.