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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Unstoppable Rea makes it three from three in Qatar

British rider equals last season’s record of 17 wins, ends 2019 with a blistering performance.
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Jonathan Rea en route to victory in the final race of the 2019 Superbike season in Qatar on Saturday. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

It was a commanding performance from the 2019 World Champion Jonathan Rea of Kawasaki Racing Team. He just could not stop winning during the three Superbike weekend races at the Losail International Circuit.

Race 1 on Friday and the Superpole race as well as Race 2 on Saturday were conquered by the Briton with very little problems.

In the last race on Saturday, which also brought down the curtains on the long season, Rea was put in a spot of bother by Spain’s Alvaro Bautista as the latter sped to the front in lap seven. That was only momentary and lasted only till the next one. Rea was back in the lead thereafter and ensured that it stayed that way till the end of the race.

“I would surely say it has been a dominating performance this weekend,” Rea opined after his final show.

That performance helped Rea touch 17 wins in a season for the second time in a row. He had achieved it last year as well. The first time it was done was by USA’s Doug Polen in 1991. Spaniard Bautista had a more realistic chance of beating that record as he had come to Qatar with 16 wins under his belt in 2019. Rea had just 14. In the end the Briton blazed to victory thrice, staggering his Spanish rival who had troubled him at the start of the season.

It was as if it was payback time for Rea.

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Jonathan Rea (centre), Chaz Davies (right) and Alvaro Bautista on the podium after Race 2 of the Superbike in Qatar in Saturday. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Rea’s two 17-win seasons can surely set him up for the record of 18 in 2020 but he said that was not his objective.

“I am just going to focus on training, the bike and our team’s strategy. The format has changed so I don’t know if the statistics will hold good. Finally it’s just a bunch of numbers,” he said.

Chaz Davies, who was in third till the 14th lap, stole a march over his teammate Bautista in the latter part of the race. Bautista, who at one stage looked like he would run Rea close, just failed to match up to the challenge of the Briton and his own teammate.

Davies assessed what happened.

“I think Alvaro was struggling with the tyres. He didn’t want to wear them out and that’s what happened to me as well. Both of us couldn’t push as much as we wanted to,” said the Aruba.IT Racing rider.

“This is something we have to work on for the next year,” he added.

It was a great finish, signalling that a great rivalry is in store for next season.

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Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea celebrates with his family after winning the final race of the Superbike season in Qatar on Saturday. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran


1. Jonathan Rea (GBR)Kawasaki Racing Team33:34.809
2. Chaz Davies (GBR)Aruba.IT Racing – Ducati33:37.787
3. Alvaro Bautista (ESP)Aruba.IT Racing – Ducati33:37.909
4. Alex Lowes (GBR)Pata Yamah World SBK Team33:47.282
5. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR)Turkish Pucceti Racing34:49.155
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR)Kawasaki Racing Team19:41.833
2. Alvaro Bautista (ESP)Aruba.IT Racing – Ducati19: 43.860
3. Alex Lowes (GBR)Pata Yamah World SBK Team19:46.976
4. Leon Haslam (GBR)Kawasaki Racing Team19:47.136
5. Chaz Davies (GBR)Aruba.IT Racing – Ducati19:48.448