Jonathan Rea has become the first rider since Carl Fogarty to successfully defend his World Superbike crown after securing the 2016 title with second place in race one at Losail in Qatar.

The Kawasaki Racing rider needed just two points to clinch back-to-back World Superbike championships in Qatar regardless of what sole title rival Tom Sykes could produce and duly claimed it with a second place having missed out to winner Chaz Davies.

After starting his title defence in emphatic style at the opening round in Phillip Island with a double victory, Rea has never relinquished the top spot in the riders' championship. On his way to the title Rea has claimed nine race wins, eight second places and four third places while he has only missed the rostrum on just three occasions throughout 2016.

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Having built up a commanding points lead over the opening half of the campaign the Northern Irish rider did see it slashed down to under 50 points by consecutive retirements in races either side of the summer break at Laguna Seca and Lausitzring.

However, a masterful recovery in the wet race two in Germany has seen Rea re-establish his points cushion and manage the title race with a run of rostrums at Magny-Cours and Jerez to take a 48-point advantage into the final round.

As a result, Rea duly picked up the two points required in Qatar and celebrates his second straight World Superbike title with a race to spare and becomes the first back-to-back world champion since Carl Fogarty achieved the feat in 1999.

Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies will battle for the runner-up spot in the final race of the 2016 World Superbike championship as Sykes looks to secure Kawasaki's first 1-2 in the riders' championship standings.