Newly-crowned and triple WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea will need to take a double win in Qatar this weekend if he is to beat Colin Edwards’ 15-year-old championship points record.
Edwards netted a whopping 552 points in 2002 in his fight for a second title and had to go up against Troy Bayliss in order to do it. He emerged victorious by 11 points over the Australian and a retirement in race two at Assen proved to be the clincher.
The Texan took 10 wins that year and won every race from the second outing at Laguna Seca until the end of the season - including the classic Imola battle with Bayliss recognised as one, if not the, best WorldSBK of all time.
Bayliss had won the first six races of the season and the only other winner was Makoto Tamada in Japan. Edwards bagged it by only being off the podium once all year - at the first race - while Bayliss recorded two fifths, a fourth and the aforementioned DNF.
Rea currently sits on 506 points including 13 wins and he has been on the podium in every race he had finished but the popped tyre at Donington and getting whacked by Eugene Laverty’s prone RSV4 in France have put two DNFs on his record.
The Castletown resident may have to forego the record if he needs to help Tom Syles to second and has said he won’t be thinking about the points record until the second race at Losail. But no-one believes him…