World Superbikes: Jonathan Rea outlines clear objective to slash Toprak Razgatlioglu's title advantage in Argentina
Jonathan Rea is focused on reducing Toprak Razgatlioglu’s title advantage at the penultimate round of the World Superbike Championship this weekend in Argentina.
The reigning six-time champion trails his Turkish rival by 24 points going into round 12 at the San Juan Villicum circuit, which will be the first flyaway round since last year’s curtain-raiser at Phillip Island in Australia. All championship events since Last March have taken place within Europe due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rea has won four of the five WSBK races held at the south American venue since it was introduced to the calendar in 2018.
The 34-year-old has a clear objective this weekend as he bids to slash Razgatlioglu’s points cushion and set up a grandstand finale to one of the closest title battles in years.
“Of course, it is time to think about the championship,” said Rea.
“We need to keep that in our minds, work hard and try to decrease the deficit in points. The target is to come away from Argentina with a smaller deficit in the championship, to take the fight to the final round.
“I am very excited about the potential for Argentina – Villicum is a track that I have enjoyed in the past.
“It is relatively new to the WorldSBK calendar but I think I have won four out of the five races there. I enjoy the layout of the track; it is quite quirky,” added the Kawasaki rider.
“It seemed impossible to do flyaway rounds this year so credit to the San Juan Government, Dorna and everyone for making it happen.
“And all the teams as well, because it is really tough to plan a long haul round with all the restrictions - but we are going. I am looking forward to it.
“After feeling really good and strong on the bike in Portugal it is good to go to Argentina now and hopefully carry that confidence on.”
Rea fell 49 points behind Razgatlioglu after two successive crashes in race one and the Superpole event at Portimao in Portugal at the previous round.
However, he struck back to seal a vital victory in race two, while Razgatlioglu crashed out on the Pata Yamaha when the front mudguard of his machine came loose.
That allowed Rea to close the deficit by 25 points and keep his quest alive for a seventh consecutive world crown, with six races still to go.
The new Mandalika circuit in Indonesia is set to host the final round of the championship from November 19-21.