Rea ‘really content’ with 2021 season, ‘but myself and the team need to improve’

Despite ‘too many mistakes’, Jonathan Rea sums up his 2021 WorldSBK season by saying ‘we did our maximum and I’ve got to be really content’ during an exclusive interview with
Jonathan Rea, Indonesian WorldSBK race1, 21 November 2021
Jonathan Rea, Indonesian WorldSBK race1, 21 November 2021
© Gold and Goose

Despite losing his reign as WorldSBK champion in 2021, Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea remains content with the season he and the team put together.

It was a season where Rea scored over 500 points for the fifth time in his career, however, it’s the first in which he was beaten to the title when doing so as Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu finished 13 points ahead. 

Key to Rea’s season were the mistakes in Donington Park, Most and Portimao as the six-time world champion crashed out from three race winning positions, while the fall in Most was while running second to Razgatlioglu. 

When speaking to, Rea touched on those defining moments and said ‘maybe I should have settled for that second or third’.

Nonetheless, Rea can’t be faulted for trying and giving everything to win as it took a monumental and mistake-free season from Razgatlioglu to even have a chance of beating Rea. 

When analysing his season, Rea believes he and the team ‘did our maximum’ but that both sides need to ‘step up’ in 2022.  

"When I sort of analyse the season I’ve got to be really content because we did our maximum," Rea told "I rode with a lot of heart this year. 

"I made a load of mistakes in doing so, a lot of times I should have maybe settled for that second or third, or even not pushed as much, like pushing for a race win in Donington. 

"We had the pace all weekend, Portimao was the same as impatience got the better of me and ultimately we made too many mistakes. 

"Also as a team we made some mistakes with set-up directions and what not, but it was just a learning year. 

"I think we need to put all that we’ve learnt from these mistakes, both myself and the team, and we need to improve as well. 

"As we’ve seen this year the level in Superbike is really high, not just from riders but from competition from manufacturers. So, I need to step-up, the team needs to step-up and hopefully we can take that into 2022."

To highlight just how good Rea’s 2021 season was, the Northern Irishman managed 13 wins - only achieved more in 2017, 2018 and 2019 - 30 podiums which is second to just his 2019 season, while he also claimed his highest pole position tally for a season with nine.

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