Britain’s three-time FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea secured his 16th race win of the season in Losail, Qatar, overnight to set a record total of 556 points in one year.
His Kawaski team-mate, Britain’s Tom Sykes, crashed out from a podium position early in this 13th round, the last race of the 2017 season, and he scored no points.
An almost perfect season for Rea culminated with a double win at the final round in Qatar on the Ninja ZX-10RR. In winning race two by 1.961 seconds he won two more races in a single season than he had managed in his previous best winning year of 2015.
For the final race of 2017 Rea started from ninth place, under the reverse grid Superpole regulations, but got up to the lead on lap four. From that point he started easing his way forward and maintaining a gap to the riders behind.
His strong finish saw him end the season 153 points ahead of eventual overall second place finisher in the championship points, British Ducati rider Chaz Davies, after 13 rounds. Rea was never off the podium in any race he finished this year.
Sykes lost his chance of finishing the season in second place after he fell on lap three, at turn 14. His machine was too badly damaged to continue. Tom finished his season a clear third overall in the rankings, with 373 points, 30 behind Davies.
After the finale under the floodlights, the Kawasaki Racing Team will now head back to Europe to make preparations for the first of the winter tests, to be fully ready for the new technical challenges that the 2018 season will bring.
“The points tally is nice but the championship is the main thing,” said Rea afterwards.
“To win 16 races in a season, more than 50% of the races, is not normal. That’s the biggest thing I take away. This year, like I keep saying, I have no words.
“It has been feeling normal to be here on the podium and that is kind of scary. Right now is my time, so I really am enjoying the moment. Next year it could easily be somebody else so we really need to enjoy this and celebrate an incredible year. I know how difficult it is when things are not coming naturally, and it is an uphill struggle, so that is why I am so grateful to Kawasaki for this opportunity. It is a huge team effort. In a few weeks’ time we can start turning our attention to 2018.”
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2017: Races 26, Wins 16, Podiums 24, Superpoles 6
Career Race Wins: 54
Career Podiums: 112
Career Poles: 14
Final 2017 championship standings:
- Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10RR 556 points
- Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale R 403 points
- Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10RR 373 points
- Marco Melandri ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale R 327 points
- Alex Lowes GBR PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 242 points
- Michael van der Mark NED PATA Yamaha YZF-R1 223 points
- Xavi Fores ESP Barni Ducati Panigale R 196 points
- Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta RC F4 RR 168 points
- Jordi Torres ESP Althea BMW S1000RR 158 points
- Eugene Laverty IRE Milwaukee Aprilia RSV4 157 points
- Lorenzo Savadori ITA Milwaukee Aprilia RSV4 124 points
- Roman Ramos ESP Team Go Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10RR 118 points
- Leandro Mercado ARG IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 115 points
- Stefan Bradl GER Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2 67 points
- Raffaele De Rosa ITA Althea BMW S1000RR 53 points
- Randy Krummenacher SWI Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-10RR 50 points
- Nicky Hayden USA Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2 40 points
- Sylvain Guintoli FRA Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-10RR 34 points
- Alex de Angelis RSM Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10RR 32 points
- Markus Reiterberger GER Althea BMW/Van Zon Remeha BMW S1000RR 29 points
- Ayrton Badovini ITA Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10RR 26 points
- Ondrej Jezek CZE Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10RR 22 points
- Leon Haslam GBR Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-10RR 20 points
- Jake Gagne USA Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR 14 points
- Alessandro Andreozzi ITA Guandalini Yamaha YZF-R1 14 points
- Davide Giugliano ITA Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2 13 points
- Anthony West AUS Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-10RR 13 points
- Riccardo Russo ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10RR 13 points
- Takumi Takahashi JPN Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2 8 points
- Jake Dixon GBR RAF Reserves Kawasaki ZX-10RR 7 points
- Jeremy Guarnoni FRA Pedercini Kawsasaki ZX-10RR 5 points
- Josh Brookes AUS Yamaha YZF-R1 4 points
- Roberto Rolfo ITA Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10RR 4 points
- Julian Simon SPA Milwaukee Aprilia RSV4 4 points