UK news Six-in-a-row triumph was for my absent fans, says delighted world champion Jonathan Rea after Estoril success last news
MetiNews.Com - Unstoppable Jonathan Rea shrugged off a crash in qualifying to clinch an unprecedented sixth World Superbike title in a row at Estoril in Portugal yesterday.
Breaking News ! "Unstoppable Jonathan Rea shrugged off a crash in qualifying to clinch an unprecedented sixth World Superbike title in a row at Estoril in Portugal yesterday. The Kawasaki rider was forced to start from 15th position on the grid after missing most of the Superpole session following an uncharacteristic mistake. However, it wasn't enough to stop Rea finishing the job in style as he crossed the line in fourth place to spark joyous celebrations with his Kawasaki Racing Team. The 33-year-old re-signed with Kawasaki earlier this year in a deal that is likely to ensure he stays with the Japanese manufacturer until the end of his career, and Rea once again demonstrated why he is by far the No.1 rider in World Superbikes. Speaking shortly after the title-deciding race yesterday, the new six-time champion said the magnitude of his achievement had yet to fully resonate. "I've no feeling right now to be honest," said the Ballyclare man. "I can't even look back - it's been an incredible journey this season. I just want to thank WSBK, Dorna, all the circuits and organisers to get racing because in the middle of what everyone in this world is experiencing this year, sport always comes second. "But we managed to race and I really miss the fans here, and I miss my family and friends and all my travelling support from back home in Northern Ireland - I really miss that. "They can't be here right now but it's for all of them. "Also for my Kawasaki Racing Team for keeping pushing this season because we started behind this season, like last year, but never gave up. "It's been a hell of a journey and I'm so, so happy." Rea scythed through the field on the opening lap and gained eight places before the end of the opening lap as the reigning champion appeared to be on a mission.
. Welshman Chaz Davies moved into the runner-up spot and stayed there until the finish, while Championship newcomer Gerloff eventually edged clear of Rea to nail down the final rostrum place. Scott Redding - Rea's only remaining Championship rival going into the eighth and final round - was forced out with a technical problem on his factory Ducati. Redding's job was rendered a near-impossible task when he had to start 23rd and last from the back of the grid after he, too, crashed in the early stages of a dramatic qualifying session. The British rider already needed a miracle to have any prospect of beating Rea to the title, with the Ulsterman only requiring a top-13 finish in yesterday's race to put the outcome beyond all doubt. But in the end it was a straightforward conclusion to the Championship, with Rea securing the points he needed to lift the world crown with two races remaining today (11am BST and 2pm BST). Behind Rea, Leon Haslam (Team HRC) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) completed the top six. Dutchman Michael van der Mark crashed out of contention for the podium on his Pata Yamaha. Eugene Laverty, competing in his final races for the factory BMW Motorrad team, finished 12th. With the title safely in the bag, Rea will no doubt come out with all guns blazing in search of a milestone 100th career WSBK win today to end the season in perfect style. His sixth World Championship success is a proud moment for Northern Ireland motorcycling, putting Rea at the head of an elite group of riders from this country who have reached the pinnacle of the sport. Ballymoney's Joey Dunlop - famed for his record of 26 Isle of Man TT wins - was a five-time Formula One world champion, while Brian Reid won the Formula Two crown twice. Ralph Bryans is also a prominent member of this exclusive club, having the honour of being Ireland's only Grand Prix world champion after he sealed the 50cc title in 1965. "
Source = MetiNews.Com