Jonathan Rea has clinched his first World Superbike championship with five races remaining by claiming a fourth place finish in the first race at Jerez.

In what has been the most dominant romp to a World Superbike series since Carlos Checa demolished the opposition in 2011, Rea has amassed a stunning 12 victories and 20 podiums from 21 races in his debut season for Kawasaki.

The first time he hasn't pulled into podium parc ferm? in Kawasaki green, Rea was unable to live with the early pace of Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark but the 13 points collected for fourth ultimately did enough to claim the crown.

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Rea and his ZX-10R have produced a near-flawless season to put 137 points between himself and nearest challenger Chaz Davies with just 125 left up for grabs.

The first Northern Irishman to win a motorcycle world championship since Joey Dunlop and Brian Reid claimed the Formula 1 and 2 world titles in 1986, Rea's first world crown has looked an inevitability since his double win at the fourth round Assen.

By then he had won six out of the eight races, and finished second in the other two. By contrast, Sykes, his team-mate and predicted main challenger, had stood on the podium on just two occasions.

Rea went on to claim dominant double victories at Imola and Portim?o while further wins also came at Misano and Sepang. Aside from the first race at Jerez, the 'nadir' of his season, so to speak, was a pair of third places at Laguna Seca, the first time he had finished outside the top two all year.

Sykes' early crash out of the action in the second race at Malaysia meant Rea could have claimed championship glory with a full three rounds to spare. However, Chaz Davies' late denying him of victory ensured he had to wait until after the summer break to crown his season.

It's a run that can still potentially challenge the majority of records in World Superbike history. He could yet match Colin Edwards' record haul of podiums in a single season, as well as becoming just the fourth rider to exceed 500 points in a calendar year.

By his own admission not always the fastest qualifier in 2015, Rea has always looked ahead to achieving an ideal race set-up through free practice. Indeed, it has been his devastating consistency and speed on used race rubber that has set him above his rivals in 2015.

Rea's achievement makes him the fifth British rider to win the crown since the class' inception in 1988, behind Carl Fogarty, Neil Hodgson, James Toseland and Sykes.

His success also carries on a strong family tradition, as his granddad John once sponsored local legend Joey Dunlop and father Johnny was successful around the Isle of Man TT circuit in 1989.