Belfast Telegraph

Rea is on a high, while Iddon signs off in style

 

Dream ending: Christian Iddon shows off the Sunflower Trophy after his last race for Tyco BMW
Dream ending: Christian Iddon shows off the Sunflower Trophy after his last race for Tyco BMW
Jonathan Rea

By Roy Harris

It proved to be a breathtaking weekend of two-wheel action as Jonathan Rea took a clean sweep of World Superbike victories in the final round in Qatar, Christian Iddon sealed his first Sunflower Trophy win at Bishopscourt on his farewell ride for Tyco BMW, and Eunan McGlinchey stamped his authority as a star of the future.

Under the floodlights in the desert, Ulsterman Rea - recently crowned record-breaking five-in-a-row champion - was simply unbeatable in taking Friday's opening encounter, claiming the 10-lap Superpole on Saturday afternoon and ending the season in style with a record-equalling 17th win of the campaign.

He outmanoeuvred the Ducati pair of arch-rival Alvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies in a thrilling, no holds barred final race in which Kawasaki green and Ducati red paint was swapped in the battle for supremacy.

The gloves were off as Bautista edged ahead at turn one on lap nine after a few unsuccessful attempts at the same spot. Rea fought back and swept back underneath the Ducati at turn six into a race-winning lead, while Davies made a move into second.

A jubilant Rea said: "Three wins here, all from pole position, awesome - 17 race wins this year.

"This is super special and I'm really happy and content because we never expected to get beaten so badly at the start of the season, but thanks to the team around me and Kawasaki we fought back to take the Championship, Manufacturers' and Team titles.

"We proved that you need more than a fast engine to win."

It was also a morale-boosting finish to 2019 for Eugene Laverty as he raced his Team Go Eleven Ducati to sixth position in the final race of the season despite getting pushed off track by Michael Rinaldi on lap one.

At Bishopscourt, Iddon signed off a four-year tenure at Tyco BMW with victory in the 42nd Sunflower Trophy race after a race-long battle with last year's winner Richard Cooper.

It was only settled on the 12th and final lap when Iddon managed to get slower riders between himself and the Buildbase Suzuki rider, the gap at the chequered flag a mere third of a second after a pulsating contest.

In autumn sunshine and in front of an excellent crowd, David Allingham brought his Buildbase Suzuki home in third, 15 seconds adrift of his team-mate, with the best of the USBK runners, Jason Lynn, in fourth in his debut meeting on the ex-Burrows Engineering RK Racing Suzuki.

However, it was the young stars who have plied their trade on the cross-channel circuits in BSB this season who were the stars of the show.

McGlinchey (21), riding McAdoo Kawasakis, won both of the Supertwin races. The second of those was for the Junior Sunflower Trophy, and he beat veteran and ex-MotoGP star Jeremy McWilliams into second place in both with 15-year-old Cameron Dawson third in both in his class debut on the KMR Kawasaki.

Dawson also won both Supersport 300cc races, while 19-year-old Richard Kerr from Donegal won both Supersport races, in which 22-year-old Ross Patterson and McGlinchey shared second positions.

McGlinchey also finished third in the wet opening Superbike race on the McAdoo Supersport Kawasaki, and was ninth in the Sunflower, the third Supersport machine home right behind Kerr and Patterson. A second and a half covered all three.

Scott Swann (16) won both Moto3 races on his IFS KTM.

√ World champion Marc Marquez claimed his 11th win of the MotoGP season after Maverick Vinales crashed out on the final lap in Australia.

Vinales led for the majority of the race before Marquez found a way through in the closing stages at Philip Island.

But in a bid to retake the lead, Vinales lost control, leaving fellow Spaniard Marquez to coast to a fifth successive win.

Honda's Cal Crutchlow came second, with Australian Jack Miller third.

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