Belfast Telegraph

Rea is daddy of them all as he races to new record


Top of the pops: Jonathan Rea on Qatar podium with sons Jake (4) and Tyler (2)
Top of the pops: Jonathan Rea on Qatar podium with sons Jake (4) and Tyler (2)

By Roy Harris

What a finale triple World Champion Jonathan Rea produced during the final race of a quite remarkable season for the Ballyclare rider.

The accolades just keep coming his way after an emphatic win in the Qatari desert, taking the 30-year old to a new record points total of 556, beating the old record of 552 set by Texan Colin Edwards 15 years ago.

This was also Rea's 16th win of a season in which he totally dominated the championship.

The final race saw Chas Davies ( Ducati) make an electric start from the third row of the grid to quickly hit the front with Rea, also starting from row three, quickly setting the fastest lap of the race to claim second position.

Lap three of 17 saw Rea's ­Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes crash out of third position uninjured, ending his chance of finishing second in the championship.

An unbelievable save from a near high side on lap four saw Davies out of the seat, his elbow breaking the screen, allowing the Kawasaki rider to hit the front never to be headed again.

Davies steadied the ship and remained in second the rest of what was a processional race, the only action the battle for ­seventh between Eugene Laverty, who started from pole position, and Sylvain Guintoli that raged throughout the second half of the race with the Milwaukee Aprilia of Laverty taking seventh ahead of the Frenchman.

Alex Lowes ousted his Pata Yamaha team-mate Michael Van Der Mark from third in the ­closing stages with Xavi Fores and Marco Melandri fifth and sixth.

An inspired Rea said after his final win of an outstanding season: "What a way to finish. I've got the full set of boxes ticked - the dream just continues.

"This just doesn't happen in racing and I've enjoyed every moment of it. This has been my time and who knows it might not be next year, so I'll savour every moment of it. My word, what an almost high side Chas had and by the time he was back in control I had gapped him. I just wanted to bring it home in one piece."

Having received his world championship awards yesterday, Rea will be looking towards more success in 2018 when the new season starts in Australia in just over three months.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year? He should win every award going as no-one has ever done so much in any sport for this 'wee country' over the last three years.

After a brilliant fourth in race one, Laverty had to be satisfied with seventh in race two saying: "It was a disappointing result ­really after race one and starting from pole position in race two.

"There was something really strange with the rear tyre, I did what I could with the electronics to help get me grip, but it was jumping about.

"It wasn't where we should have been in the race, as the bike was working well.

"I just didn't have a rear tyre to make use of the vastly improved bike that I had. It's been a positive season overall and are going in the right direction.

"We will work hard over the winter and target podiums right from the start of 2018 in Australia."

Belfast Telegraph


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