Jonathan Rea stands on the verge of defending his World Superbike title after finishing second at Jerez in Race 2. The Northern Irishman came out on top of a tussle with his Kawasaki teammate, Tom Sykes, and will enter the final round of the season with an almost unassailable 48 point lead.
Rea and Sykes had a typically spirited fight for second but once the champion was in front it was difficult to see him being beaten. Sykes, despite having a faster bike in different areas of the track, was consistently unable to get past his teammate. As has been the case so often in the past when the Kawasaki riders fought on track, it was Rea who gained the upper hand and almost certainly claimed the title.
Speaking after the race Rea said that the form of Chaz Davies, who dominated the weekend in Spain and claimed both race wins, means that the title permutations could be irrelevant given the Ducati riders form. With Sykes needing to win both races in Qatar and Davies having won five of the last six Rea will know that his 48 point advantage is almost certainly too great a margin for Sykes to overhaul.
The form of Davies has been ominous for most of the season and in Jerez he showed yet again how dominant he can be. When the Ducati is working the Welshman has been a wizard this year and consistently able to fight for wins. Indeed his Spanish double has now given him nine wins, putting him equal with Rea. Unfortunately he has also had too many crashes that have taken him out of title contention.
With two races left Davies will be keen to pad his stats and gain some momentum for the winter ahead of the Philip Island season opener in February.
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