WorldSBK’s first visit to the Autodrom Most could be a historic one with Jonathan Rea on the verge of his 200th podium.
Another round comes by in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has another opportunity to re-write the history books as he goes in search of his 200th podium in the fastest production-based Championship in the world at the upcoming Tissot Czech Round at the Autodrom Most.
While it is the Championship’s first visit to Most, and the first since 2018 to the Czech Republic, six-time Champion Rea will head into the Czech Round full of confidence following his hat-trick at the TT Circuit Assen last time out and heads into the weekend with a 37-point lead in the Championship after a dramatic Dutch Round.
The Championship is the aim for a number of riders throughout the 2021 campaign, including Rea as he goes in search of his seventh consecutive World Championship. But as the season progresses and more races are completed, riders achieve more milestones, and this is the case for Rea as he stands on the verge of 200 WorldSBK podiums.
A 200th podium would put him 70 podiums clear of Troy Corser in the all-time list in terms of WorldSBK podiums with Australian Corser finishing his career with 130 trips to the rostrum. In terms of active rivals, the next nearest to Rea on the list is 2013 Champion Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who has 114 podiums to his name from 335 races.
2021 has already been a record-breaking year for the Ulsterman after he claimed his 100th WorldSBK victory in Race 1 at the season-opening Aragon Round at MotorLand Aragon and he now stands on 107 victories, meaning more than half of his 199 podiums to date have been victories while a further 63 have been second place finishes. In fact, Rea has only taken 29 third place finishes out of 199 podiums; the Northern Irishman, in part thanks to a five-pole streak in 2021, now has more pole positions than third-place finishes.
The competition will be fierce again for Rea with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) looking to start closing the gap at the top of the standings, while Aruba.it Racing – Ducati duo Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi have completed a track day at the Czech venue on stock bikes.
Most will present a new challenge for Rea with the fast and flowing circuit broken up by a slow chicane at the start of the lap but success at circuits that were previously unknown as well as the Assen hat-trick will give Rea plenty of confidence he can secure his 200th podium in the Czech Republic; a country he already has three podiums at albeit at Brno.
Looking ahead to the Czech Round, Rea said: “It is always exciting going to a new circuit. Most is completely unknown to me and the team. Going to any new circuit I would study previous races, either MotoGP™ or past races of WorldSBK, but even after scouring the internet for footage it is very difficult to find race coverage of Most. The layout looks nice, some fast and flowing corners so it is exciting to learn something new. When I arrive, I will do some laps with my bicycle and do a track walk with my team. The base set-up of our bike is in a really good window and on Friday it will be very important to find a good set-up and a rhythm straight away. Step-by-step we will get ready for the race. We do not have much time in practice, but I enjoy that - being under pressure. I am looking forward to seeing what we can do. We had a great weekend in Assen so it would be nice to carry on with that momentum behind us.”
Follow all the action from Most and find out whether Rea secures his 200th podium using the WorldSBK VideoPass!