By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter
Jonathan Rea has won the World Superbike Championship for a record sixth consecutive season Estoril in Portugal.
The Kawasaki rider incredibly finished fourth despite starting from 15th place on row five after crashing during qualifying.
Rea only needed a top-13 finish to guarantee the title but the championship was effectively over when sole remaining rival Scott Redding retired on his Ducati.
Redding also crashed in qualifying and failed to set a lap time, which meant the English rider was forced to start the race from 23rd and last position on the grid.
Pole man Toprak Razgatlioglu won the race on the Pata Yamaha from Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Ducati) and American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha).
Last year, his fifth successive title triumph put him ahead of English great Carl Fogarty on the all-time roll of honour, who won the championship four times between 1994-95 and 1998-99.
Despite his unprecedented success, Rea’s desire to defend his title and hunger to keep winning races remains undiminished.
He signed a new ‘multi-year deal’ with Kawasaki this year, tying his future to the Japanese manufacturer.
The Ballymena man has taken on all comers and emphatically prevailed each time to reinforce his reputation as the king of World Superbikes.
Most knew it already, but it is going to take something very special indeed to knock Jonathan Rea off his perch.