Two points is all Jonathan Rea needs to successfully defend his WorldSBK title after two rostrum finishes at Round 12 in Jerez. If the Northern Irishman wins the title he will become the first rider since Carl Fogarty to win two consecutive WorldSBK titles and cement his status as a championship legend.
The 29 year old has traditionally struggled at the Spanish venue but after having succeeded in preserving his lead against his title rival Tom Sykes, he knows that he is almost certain to be crowned in the desert night of Qatar.
While Chaz Davies dominated proceedings once again, Rea is in the enviable position of knowing that his Welsh rival could hand him the title by winning the opening race in Qatar. His teammate Tom Sykes needs to win both races to stand a chance of winning the title and as Davies- who has won five of the last six races- is in the best form of his life, Sykes admitted that he is now “clutching at straws” for his title bid.
Though Sykes has had blisteringly fast pace all year- as shown by his eight pole positions this year- he has only been able to win five races. This means moving on to 2017, Sykes will be looking to extend his qualifying performances into race situations if he plans to challenge for the title once again. After Rea suffered two consecutive retirements this season, Sykes was given a ray of hope in the title fight but ultimately it has almost certainly come to nothing at the end of the campaign.
There is no doubt that Sykes is one of the top three riders in WorldSBK and there is little to choose between him, Rea and Davies, but this year has seen a gap develop between the trio and if Sykes is to change perceptions he will need that process to begin in Qatar where he has finished third in every race since WorldSBK first ventured to Losail in 2014.
The last round of the WorldSBK will be at the Losail International Circuit from 28th to 30th October with 100QAR for the Grandstand ticket for the 3-days event .
More information at www.circuitlosail.com