JONATHAN Rea – the husband of Phillip Island local Tatia Weston – has been crowned World Superbike Champion of 2015 after a stellar season including 12 race wins and 20 podium finishes from 21 races.
Building an unassailable lead, he finished the job conservatively at Round 11 at Spain’s Jerez circuit late last week, taking two fourth places to sign off on his first world superbike title.
Rea took the title with 478 points, and after 11 rounds Ducati’s Chaz Davies sits in second place on 353 points and team mate Tom Sykes on 331 points.
The final two rounds are to be held France’s Magny Cours and Qatar on October 18.
Rea who hails from Northern Ireland, but spends summers at Phillip Island with wife Tatia and son Jake, joined the Kawasaki Racing Team at the beginning of the season and kicked off the year with a win at Phillip Island.
He has been pursuing the title since his first full world superbike campaign in 2009.
“This is an amazing moment for me in my career,” said Rea after wrapping up the title.
“Right now it has not sunk in.
“Moments like this are even more special because of the challenges I have faced with injuries.
“When I watched the 2002 World Championship between Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss I got so much inspiration from it. It became like, ‘I have to do this.’ So even in tough times I never doubted my ability.
“Right now it still does not feel real but I am world champion and I am really proud.”