WSB: Rea poised to become champion in Qatar

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Jonathan Rea heads to the final round of the Superbike World Championship in Qatar this weekend almost certain to become the first rider to win back-to-back WSB titles since Carl Fogarty in 1999.

Holding a 48-point lead over team-mate Tom Sykes ahead of this weekend’s two races, Rea will be crowned champion unless he fails to score and Sykes stands on the top step in both.

“The only way Tom can beat me is if I no-score and Tom wins both races,” he said ahead of the race.  “That is a very low percentage of probability I would hope! This means we can go into Qatar relaxed and confident we can go back-to-back with our championship wins.” 

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However, since the second half of the 2016 series resumed at the Lausitzring in September, it’s been Ducati’s Chaz Davies who has been man of the moment with five wins out of six going to the Welshman, contributing to Rea missing out on his first chance to clinch the title in Jerez last weekend. 

Despite Davies’ pace over the Kawasaki duo, Rea remains upbeat about his success so far this year: “A championship is won over many different circuits, many different conditions and right now, leading the championship, we have clearly done a better job than the rest. I’m happy because to date we have had nine race wins and done a very good job.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing