Since 2015, Jonathan Rea has won every World Superbike championship that has been contested as the Northern Irishman looks to make it seven from seven with Kawasaki. 

Rea has faced some stiff competition in those title winning seasons mainly from former team-mate Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies, Alvaro Bautista in 2019, and Scott Redding most recently. 

These are the four men to have pushed Rea the closest in a given season, but ultimately they have all been beaten. 

Looking at the season ahead, the current World Superbike line-up is one of the best in recent years and could certainly see more challengers for Rea than he's had before. 

Based on the championship standings in 2020, Redding could once again be Rea's main opponent. The 2019 British Superbike champion enters his second season with the Aruba.it Ducati team and will be hoping that's the case.   

His championship aspirations slowly faded as the 2020 season progressed, however Redding started the season with six podiums in a row, including two wins in both Jerez feature races showing why many believe he can win the title. 

As soon as the signing of Redding to Aruba Ducati became official, he was immediately seen as Rea's main rival for the championship. One would assume that with a year under his belt, Redding has a great chance to not only challenge Rea but go on to beat him in 2021.

Of course, it won't be easy as beating Rea over a full season might be the toughest obstacle in two-wheel racing right now. 

Redding is not the only obvious name to think of when looking at potential new champions. Turkish star Toprak Razgatlioglu is without doubt one of the more talented riders on the WorldSBK grid. 

Every season since his debut in 2018 has seen Razgatlioglu get better and better. As a rookie on a satellite bike, Razgatlioglu clinched a maiden podium, and in his second season with Puccetti Racing won his first WorldSBK races at Magny-Cours.

Like Redding, the 24 year-old is entering his second season with his current team Pata Yamaha. 

In every race he finished last season which was over 85% of the races, Razgatlioglu never finished outside the top ten showing tremendous consistency. 

But with that said, if the former Kawasaki rider can turn the sixth and seventh place finishes into podiums in 2021, there is no reason why he can't be the first ever Turkish World Superbike champion. 

The level of competition last year was extremely high as we saw fresh talent rise to the front of the grid with riders such as Michael Ruben-Rinaldi and Garrett Gerloff. 

Both men have seen their performances lead to factory seats as Ruben-Rinaldi has joined Redding at Ducati, while Gerloff replaces Michael Van Der Mark at Yamaha. 

Expecting the two riders to compete for a world title is maybe a year early, although their rapid rise last season and in particular the American Gerloff means anything is possible. 

It would also not be a surprise if one of Rea's main challengers is in the same pit box as him in Alex Lowes. 

Lowes led the championship after round in Phillip Island last season on his debut with the team, and easily has the talent to fight for a world title. The British rider is recovering from a recent training injury, but with the opening race not until May, he should be fully ready come round one. 

Of course, whichever riders are able to take the title fight to Rea will require a special season, as we have seen many riders win races but lack the consistency over a full year.  

 

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