Jonathan Rea has become the first Northern Irishman since Joey Dunlop and Brian Reid in 1986 to lift a world title, after taking the World Superbike championship in the first race at Jerez this morning.
Rea, who only needed six points to secure the series win, ironically was unable to maintain his season-long podium record, after tyre problems relegated him to fourth behind teammate Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark.
Speaking after the race, Rea was as always quick to thank the support team that helped take him to a championship win that many say is long overdue.
"It's an amazing feeling. This is the reward for all the hard work for most of the season. I have to thank my team and my family. It's incredible; it's amazing to achieve the dream I had when I was younger. It's a strange feeling to have won the championship with five races to go though!”
He also honored the two former home champions on his slowing down lap, first riding in a Brian Reid replica helmet, before switching to the iconic Joey Dunlop yellow and black design, then reverting to a special gold version of his own design.