Jonathan Rea could wrap-up the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship at Sepang, but on Friday he was trying to think of the weekend as two races, not the potential highpoint of his career to date. “Not really thinking about it, no,” said Rea. “We have enough to think about with the changeable weather conditions really! The good thing now is that the target is in sight because - mathematically - we can win a championship here. Realistically - not. We just prepare like every other weekend and will try to do two strong races. It would be nice to stay on the podium for the rest of the year, as we have set the bar there so far. That would be one target, to finish both races healthy and then move into the summer break in good shape.”
Despite his almost ideal points situation – 125 ahead of next placed Tom Sykes and going out to try and win races - Rea does not think it will all be wrapped up this weekend, so has made no contingencies if he does it.
“Normally Arai prepare a helmet but I do not have a helmet because, realistically, it is not very realistic. Anything can happen but I am not trying to think about that this weekend. But now we can focus on the target and think a little bit more. Sure I want to win races, be competitive and be on the podium but now the most important thing is to finalise and hone in on our target. We have been working on this for a long time, not just this year but myself for many years. Now it is within striking distance we have to think a little bit more than in previous races.”
In many ways winning the series this weekend would be a strange experience for Rea to undertake, as the race is a flyaway in Malaysia.
“I did discuss this with my wife before Laguna, because she’s pregnant, and with my family and my friends,” said Rea. “Now it is a potential reality, so it would be nice to have those people around me. If I left Laguna with a lot more points than Tom then sure, they would fly here, but as it stands Tom has been riding really strong in the last few races and it would take a really, really good weekend for me and adisaster for him. But two average results, like we have been having all season, it is not realistic. Where or when I win – if we can win and if we do win – does not matter. What matters is that we do win at some point. If we cannot win here or do not win here it would give me more motivation in the summer break to not go to the beach too much…”