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Jonathan Rea at the 2017 World Superbike Qatar round

Rea closes another year of WorldSBK dominance with Qatar double

Nov 052017

WorldSBK World Champion Jonathan Rea used the thirteenth and final round of the 2017 series to set more milestones in the sport by racing to his sixth double victory of the year and recording the highest ever points total. The 1-1 on Friday and Saturday night under the Losail lights gave the 30 year old his 15th and 16th wins of the season and surpassed his own ‘PB’ of 14 chequered flags in one term (set in 2015); his clear and undisputed runaways in the desert were also notable ‘firsts’ for JR in Qatar.

Rea ends 2017 with three consecutive titles and 556 points; 153 more than the next best-placed rider. His potent combination with the Ninja ZX-RR even defied a new ruling for the year where the grid was inverted for the second race. The Brit obtained 24 podiums from 26 and finished in the top three in every outing that he completed.

“The points tally is nice but the championship is the main thing; to win 16 races in a season, more than 50% of the races, is not normal. That’s the biggest thing I take away,” Rea said. “This year, like I keep saying, I have no words. It has been feeling normal to be here on the podium and that is kind of scary. Right now is my time, so I really am enjoying the moment. Next year it could easily be somebody else so we really need to enjoy this and celebrate an incredible year. I know how difficult it is when things are not coming naturally, and it is an uphill struggle, so that is why I am so grateful to Kawasaki for this opportunity. It is a huge team effort. In a few weeks’ time we can start turning our attention to 2018.”

“We started this final weekend so well but things just turned against us,” he lamented. “The lap times were right there for the race today because we had made slight modifications from yesterday, so I cannot believe the way it finished. Jonathan has had an incredible season this year, he has done a fantastic job.”