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Northern Ireland’s Rea retains World Superbike title

Jonathan Rea has won nine races this year on the way to a second straight championship crown

Jonathan Rea has won nine races this year on the way to a second straight championship crown

Jonathan Rea has become the first rider since Carl Fogarty in 1999 to win successive World Superbikes titles as he finished second in Qatar.

Welshman Chaz Davies won the race as Northern Ireland’s Rea, 29, secured an unassailable 55-point lead going into the final race of 2016 on Sunday.

England’s Tom Sykes, who needed to win and for team-mate Rea to finish outside the top 14, finished fourth.

“I’m so, so happy. The job’s done and the target is achieved,” said Rea.

“It will take some time to sink in but I know we have done a wonderful job.”

He told Eurosport: “We started the season so strong that we were able to manage the last few races.

“I gave 200% in that race and threw caution to the wind but it was not enough to win.”

Rea, who came into the final round with a 48-point advantage over Sykes, produced another assured performance.

The Co Antrim man started on pole but Davies was soon out in front with Rea close behind.

Sykes was well back in fifth and the race became a two-way battle with Rea pushing Davies until the closing laps.

Davies continued his recent dominance by pulling clear and winning by almost four seconds from Rea with Sylvain Guintoli completing the podium.

Ducati rider Davies has won six of the past seven races and is only seven points behind Sykes.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/northern-ireland/37812790