The reigning Champion secured second place after an incredible battle during Race 2 with rivals Scott Redding and Toprak Razgatlioglu
The final race of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s visit to the Circuito San Juan Villicum was an incredible and dramatic three-rider battle for supremacy as Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) during Race 2 for the Motul Argentinean Round.
Rea eventually claimed second place in the hard-fought encounter after dicing with Redding and Razgatlioglu after starting from the front row, with all three riders taking it in turns to lead the race before losing out shortly after. Redding was able to get a break on Rea and Razgatlioglu, who continued to fight it out for second place, before Rea was able to pull away from the Championship leader.
Giving his thoughts on the Race 2 battle, Rea said: “It’s not the result but I’m really happy with how I felt on the bike today. We tried something really strange with the bike that you wouldn’t consider, and it transformed, especially the grip level I had from the beginning. I’ve been struggling all weekend to really make the tyre work in the initial laps, and I had it. The combination of tyres worked really well, the SC2 front and SCX rear. I enjoyed the bike, that was important. I struggled on Saturday to really put the Pirelli rubber on the tarmac, to really dig in and go with the other guys. Today, I had that traction, I had the feeling.
“I could play with the bike. In some key areas, I was losing but I was able to be in the fight. I just lost a little bit of time behind Toprak, Scott was able to really go. And from that point, it was almost about sitting on my ground, waiting for a mistake from Toprak and concentrating on him, forget about the race win. Maybe I should’ve tried a bit harder because I think my pace was really good at the end and I could’ve really fought for that win.”
The results across the Argentinean Round means Rea heads into the season-ending Indonesian Round 30 points behind Razgatlioglu with 62 available across the three races across the weekend at a brand-new venue for all riders. Redding is now mathematically out of contention for the title, trailing by 66 points, meaning the Indonesia showdown will be between Razgatlioglu and Rea.
Explaining how he will go into the weekend, Rea said: “Obviously, it would be nicer to be in front in the Championship at this point but there’s nothing to lose now. Go there with a big bag of optimism and see what we can do. I have to go out and do my best, the best I can do is go out and win all three races and see what happens. It’s not the best position to be in ahead of the last round but that means the pressure’s not on me, it’s firmly on Toprak and his team to manage that. I know mentally, almost having the job done going into Estoril last year and Scott being so many points behind, when I was leading the Championship, you still had these doubts in your brain. I think the points gap is a lot less than it was to Scott last year, so we’ll just go out, try to pull the pin and see what we can do.”
It’s all to play for in Indonesia: watch the title battle come to a thrilling conclusion using the WorldSBK VideoPass!