11 wins in a row and the only way four-time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea could be stopped at Losail, Qatar for the season-wrapping last round of 2018 was by a desert storm that washed out part of the famous floodlit venue. Before the Saturday climate-crash just outside of Doha, Rea had already planted more milestones. The Kawasaki man led teammate Tom Sykes and Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes onto the first race podium on Friday. His 11th chequered flag-wave in succession and 17th win of the season meant he equalled Doug Polen’s record haul in the history of Superbike – set in 1991 – and also superseded his own trawl of 16 wins from 2017.
2013 champion Sykes had swept to his 48th Superpole in what was his swansong with the team but was again powerless to match a rampant Rea. The Northern Irishman was denied the chance of an unprecedented seventh double due to the freak weather in Qatar that forced the organisers to cancel the second Superbike race in the wake of a perilous World Supersport dash.
Like the rest of the SBK grid, Rea patiently waited in the Losail pitlane before news filtered through that the 13 round and 26 race campaign was over. Rea could reflect on his 56th victory for Kawasaki on Friday - a record for a single rider with a single manufacturer in WorldSBK.