Following a fourth place finished in both races one and two, Jonny Rea clinched his first ever World Superbike Championship this weekend in Jerez. JR’s win makes him the fifth British rider to clinch the title, joining the esteemed greats of Carl Fogarty, Neil Hodgson, James Toseland, Tom Sykes and Northern Irish compatriot, Joey Dunlop.
As Tom Sykes raced to victory in race one, all eyes turned to Rea who, thanks a staggering 144 point lead, required only a top-nine finish to claim the championship crown. Caution was the order of the day for JR, as the Kawasaki man slipped calmly into fourth after some early exchanges with Chaz Davies who eventually finished second ahead of both Rea and Michael van der Mark in third.
Race two was much of the same, with Rea again finding a comfortable fourth spot – this time behind winner Chaz Davies, Jordi Torres in second and Leon Haslam in third. Claiming his ninth win of the season, Davies took full advantage of the hot weather and dry circuit by cruising to victory and snatching the vital 25 points. With things really hotting up in the race for second place, a top of the podium finish for Davies ensures a small lead of 22 points is held over third-placed Sykes in the overall championship standings.
Calm and controlled, this weekend’s championship victory epitomised everything about Jonathan Rea’s 2015 season. Since round one in Australia, JR hasn’t looked back. And although this weekend’s performance didn’t land the two victories many predicted, by finishing fourth, Rea managed to transform a childhood dream, into an unforgettable reality.