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WorldSBK Argentina: Sunday sprint race should not be for points – Rea

Reigning and four-time WorldSBK champ Jonathan Rea believes the proposed 2019 Sunday sprint race should be for grid position in the afternoon encounter and points shouldn’t be awarded.

Rea thinks the history of the championship should be protected and that some teams might not be geared up to pay out three sets of podium bonuses over the year.

“I hope there is no points for the third small race. I hope it is a race that determines the grid. It should be an entertainment race, if you like, because otherwise it completely changes the history of the championship,” ssid Rea, speaking to bikesportnews.com.


“If there are points awarded for it then it is going to affect many things. If there are points, you should be rewarded for them. I do not know if all teams are geared up to pay bonus money for another race, over 26 races.

“But a sprint race, if it is to decide the grid, it sounds fun. You can give it a lot over ten laps, so it can be a fast race. But it is also not a win-at-all-costs race, because you have race three to think about.”

Rea continued his domination of the class at San Juan yesterday despite a tricky race one at times. In winning the opening clash, he gave Kawasaki enough points that they could not be caught in he Manufacturers’ championship, which brought out celebratory flags and T-shirts for Rea, Sykes and Razgatlioglu – the Kawasaki riders who have contributed to that winning Kawasaki performance in 2018.

The vast bulk of those Kawasaki points have of course been taken by Rea, who took an early lead and ran away to a clear winning margin on a still dirty new track surface. It was his 15th win of the season and the 69th of his career.

Having to pass pole man Marco Melandri he used the narrow scrubbed in clean line to his best advantage and set a new lap record of 1’39.175 (on lap 11) to end up with an eventual advantage of over nine seconds at the flag.

Rea’s adaptability to situations beyond his immediate comfort zone played a part in his latest win.

“The track has been really difficult this weekend because firstly the racing line is really small and it is the only clean line. For me, my natural riding lines are a little bit different. I would set up the corner a little bit wider and square off but when I set it up wide it is on the dirty stuff. I made a good start and Melandri went deep into turn one on the dirty stuff and I squared him up and was able to do my rhythm from there.”

Even a few spots of rain, that caused some real anxiety, were overcome as they did not constitute real rainfall. “My rhythm was good until about half distance and then I started to get some drops on my visor and my screen,” said Rea.

“I started to worry at that point and thought ‘do I wait for Melandri to come and let him be the guinea pig, or shall I keep my head down?’ But the drops were not big enough to really disturb the track. I tried to stay fast to keep heat in the tyres. When the rain came the wind picked up and I was getting buffeted around a lot on the back straight. When those conditions came I was able to still be fast.”


With this win equalling the most consecutive race wins at nine – shared by Colin Edwards and Neil Hodgson - a race win on Sunday would make a new record of ten for Rea.

Another race on Sunday, but to win is not easy, it seems.

“Of course we have to aim to win, that is a given, but coming from the third row it is going to be more difficult than ever at this track, especially with passing opportunities as the line is so tight,” Said Rea. “So we have to play it by ear.”

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