Having claimed second place in race one in Qatar this weekend, our brand ambassador, JonathanRea became the first World Superbike rider to claim back to back championships since Carl Fogarty in 1999.
In a weekend where the headlines could easily have belonged to Chaz Davies – a man currently on a winning streak that now spans six races – Rea stole the show as his Kawasaki crossed the line 3.9 seconds behind the Ducati-riding Welshman in race one.
In race two, more drama awaited as Davies again crossed the line in first place, this time ahead of Tom Sykes who claimed second thanks to JR’s decision to let him pass on the final lap – a controversial move that enabled Sykes to finish second, ahead of Davies, in the WorldChampionship.
But despite the drama, the thrills and the spills (most notably Saeed al Sulaiti’s engine blow-out at turn one), the story of the 2016 season belongs to one man, and one man only – Mr Jonathan Rea.
While theoretically the title may have been claimed under the floodlights in Qatar, in reality it was won long ago, with Rea never giving up top spot in the championship from the word ‘go’.
Starting with a double victory at Philip Island in Australia, the Kawasaki ace lead from start to finish throughout 2016, with wins in Thailand, Holland, San Marino, USA and Germany all contributing to Rea‘s championship winning total of 498 points.
With his sights firmly set on winning a third consecutive title in 2017, Rea can now take stock and rest-up before testing starts on a new Kawasaki bike that’s currently in development.
He spoke to us about his win over the weekend, saying: “I’m so proud to have won the SuperbikeWorld Championship this year. It’s amazing to win two years running – it actually doesn’t quite feel real yet!
“The final actually coincides with my son’s first birthday weekend which made it particularly special for me. It was great to have him and the rest of my family spurring me on, along with the team at Carole Nash. I’m looking forward to celebrating this evening!”
What will happen when Rea opens up the throttle in 2017 for now is unclear, but one thing that’s certain is that Carole Nash will be there cheering him on every inch of the way!