Get ready for the final round of the season with WorldSBK commentator Steve English
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has ruled the roost in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship for four years, and with the world champion trying to break history once again this weekend, the final round of the 2018 season could be one to remember.
As the first rider in history to win four titles in a row, the Kawasaki rider has dominated the series in recent years. Last time out he rewrote the record books by taking a tenth consecutive victory, but despite his dominance one record has remained out of reach over the years; Doug Polen's for most wins in a season.
The American rider's 1991 title winning campaign saw him win 17 races, and hit a purple patch mid-season with seven wins on the bounce. Rea has been unbeaten for four months and needs the double to surpass Polen's record.
It's not only the win record that's in sight for Rea; he can also break the record for most points in a season. Last year the champion was able to edge ahead of Colin Edwards' 2002 points tally, and this year Rea travels to Qatar needing 37 points to break his own record. It's the third time in four years that Rea has gone to the desert with a realistic chance of breaking the points scoring feat. This fact alone shows just how impressive a job he has done since joining Kawasaki in 2015.
For his part, Rea has said throughout recent rounds that Polen's record is not one that he thought was possible. The goal for Rea since early in the campaign has been the single season points record. In the 31 year old's eyes, if he wins races to do that then the better. It couldn't have been much better for Rea in recent months; his unbeaten streak stretches back to Laguna Seca, and having won Race 1 at Brno his pace was such that he started as the favourite before tangling with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).
It's been a faultless campaign for Rea and while next year will start with a blank sheet of paper, the finishing touches of 2018 could leave it as a year to remember.
See if Rea can break the record in the Pirelli Qatar Round, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass.