2015 World Superbikes: Jonathan Rea on track for Northern Ireland's first world title since Joey Dunlop
Ballyclare's Jonathan Rea is on the verge of ending Northern Ireland's 29-year wait for a world motorcycle champion.
Kawasaki rider Rea (28) could be crowned 2015 World Superbike champion on Sunday in Malaysia, at round 10 of the 13 round series.
He currently holds a 125-point advantage over team-mate Tom Sykes. And depending on how results pan out, Rea could end the day as our first World Superbike champion and first bikes world No1 since the late, great Joey Dunlop whose fifth and final global triumph came in the 1986 TT Formula 1 World Championship (later to become World Superbikes), with Dromara Destroyer Brian Reid taking his second Formula 2 title the very same year.
Even if it doesn't happen on Sunday, the title still looks a racing certainty for Rea (right) who has dominated this year's championship with 11 wins from 18 races, with third his lowest finish to date.
Low key Rea would only say: "Hopefully we can achieve our target. When I signed for Kawasaki at the start of the year, I only had one main target, to win the world title, and I will not be taking my eyes off the prize."
Rea is poised to join Dunlop, Reid and Ralph Bryans as the only two-wheeled world champions from these shores.
Double TT Formula 2 World Champion Reid said of Rea: "He is absolutely brilliant and a credit to his family and Northern Ireland. I hope he wraps it up on Sunday."