Rea sets personal best season win total
Qatar SBK race 1
The opening 17-lap FIM Superbike World Championship race of the final round saw Jonathan Rea record his 15th race victory of the year, surpassing his previous personal best of 14, which he set in 2015. Fellow KRT rider Tom Sykes had rear traction issues throughout the race and dropped from a strong second to a final sixth at the flag.
From pole position, which he earned with a new track best of 1’56.228 earlier in the day, Rea was unstoppable out front under the floodlights in Qatar, winning by almost five seconds and easing up over the line. His Superpole win was his tenth for Kawasaki, and his sixth of the season.
This was Rea’s first WorldSBK race win at Qatar, and also the first for a Kawasaki rider at the 5.380km circuit in the desert near the capital city of Doha.
In taking his victory today Jonathan is now second in the all time WorldSBK race win rankings, with a career total of 53. Only Carl Fogarty, with 59, has won more races across his career than Jonathan. Should Rea win the Saturday race at Losail, the last one of the year, he will take the record points total in one season to add to all his other achievements in 2017.
For Sykes, who is still trying to ensure he finishes the year in second place overall, finding less drive than he expected in the opening race saw him finish in sixth place. As a result of this he dropped ten points behind his rival for the runner-up spot, Chaz Davies, who was second today.
The final race of the year will take place at 21.00 local time, on Saturday 4th November.