WSBK Indonesia: Double winner Jonathan Rea vows to return stronger in 2022 in quest to win back title

Jonathan Rea signed off with a double at the final round of the World Superbike Championship in Indonesia and vowed he will be back to try and reclaim his crown in 2022.

After losing his title in the opening race, with Toprak Razgatlioglu’s runner-up finish behind the Northern Ireland rider at the new Mandalika circuit enough to put the outcome beyond doubt, Rea showed his fighting spirit as he triumphed in the wet in race two to end the season on a high.

The delayed race was cut from 21 laps to 12 as a result of poor weather conditions on the island of Lombok and it was Rea – riding with his favourite number 65 on the front of his Kawasaki for the first time since 2015 – who battled it out with Ducati’s Scott Redding after they broke clear at the front.

In a duel to the finish, Redding took the lead into Turn 1 at the start of the final lap, but Rea responded at Turn 10 as he edged ahead once more.

Jonathan Rea celebrates with his Kawasaki team after winning both races at the final round of the 2021 World Superbike Championship in Indonesia on Sunday.

Briton Redding, in his final race for Ducati ahead of his switch to the factory BMW team next season, launched a last-ditch attack at Turn 16, but the 2020 title runner-up drifted wide and Rea swept through to complete a double by 0.283s, sealing his 112th WSBK victory and his 97th as a Kawasaki rider.

Dutchman Michael van der Mark finished third (BMW Motorrad), over seven seconds behind the race winner, with newly crowned champion Razgatlioglu fourth on the Pata Yamaha.

Tom Sykes, competing in his last race for the official BMW team, finished in fifth spot ahead of Garrett Gerloff on the GRT Yamaha.

A delighted Rea said: “Thanks to my team, they made all the right decisions from our tough FP1. We got the bike in a really good area and to come here and win in the dry, win in the wet, in front of these amazing fans was so nice. I just rode with nothing to lose and to just go out on a high.

“I’m super-happy with our effort this year, I rode with a lot of heart, I did my best and no regrets.

“Congratulations to Toprak and his team. They’ve done an incredible season, they were very fast and it’s really making me improve as a rider.

“I’ve looked at myself to evaluate how I can do better, how the bike can be better, so this winter we’ll be really pushing Kawasaki to improve our ZX10-RR and try to come back with a stronger package.”

Final 2021 Championship standings:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 564 points

2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 551

3. Scott Redding ( Racing – Ducati) 501

4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 291

5. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) 282

6. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 262

7. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 228 (Best Independent)