Jonathan Rea was able to take some risks in order to tray and stay with Chaz Davies in the opening Qatar World Superbike race as he was sure his second world title was in the bag.
The reigning world champion was crowned for a second time in the desert as he followed Davies home after rear traction problems again blunted his charge for the win, allowing Davies to clear off for his fifth straight victory.
“This championship is 26 races and 13 race weekends and it is very easy to get lost with it but we’ve done an incredible job all season. In the last few races we have been able to manage a gap which was really comfortable,” said Rea, speaking at the track.
“Now the job is done and the target from the beginning of the season is achieved I am just so happy and thankful to everybody in my team.
“I want to thank my whole team, my wife, my family who support me. Also a biggest thank you to Kawasaki for supporting us in the first new year of the ZX-10R so to win the first year it gives me incredible confidence for next year because I am sure the bike with a year of data will get better and better.”
Rea felt he had to push in order to try and stay with Davies. The Welshman has been unstoppable in recent weeks and the Irishman said it didn’t matter if he ended up in the gravel trying to close down the Panigale.
“I felt okay in the beginning of the race and I was risking it because I knew Chaz would win the race if I didn’t push. It didn’t matter if I ended up in the gravel because were we were going to be champions anyway so I threw caution to the wind.
“But the Ducati was too fast on the straights and I couldn’t stay there, only just about hang in there and Cha was riding so good so congratulations to him. He had so much edge grip compared to be and I had to stop the bike and pick it up more to use the flat part of the tyre. We will have to play the long game tomorrow and hopefully hatch something.”