Jonathan Rea says his history-making third World Superbike title has been the sweetest of his career as he pays tribute to his supporting team which helped him to dominate the 2017 campaign to win the championship with five races to spare.

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider controlled the wet race one at Magny-Cour to storm to his 50th career World Superbike race win, his 12th of the season, which sees him secure the 2017 world title in emphatic fashion with the biggest-winning margin of the season with a 16-second lead over runner-up Marco Melandri.

Rea has made history by becoming the first rider to win three consecutive World Superbike titles, while drawing level with Troy Corser on three titles and one behind all-time leader Carl Fogarty on four titles, and says the feat has left him speechless as he struggles to take in his achievement.

“I have no words right now,” Rea said. “I have sacrificed so much in my life, as have my parents and everyone involved in helping me get me to this level.

“To win it the championship the first time, the second time and then go three times in a row – I cannot compute my feelings right now. My thanks to all the team, every single member of the team, and everyone from Kawasaki back in Japan.

“Most of all I want to thank my wife and kids who sacrifice so much. To win this race was special. Winning a race to win the championship is not something I have done before, so I was important for me to do that. I also scored my 50th WorldSBK race win in WorldSBK as well.”

"To be honest I can't sum up my emotions, I feel quite numb. I just feel super proud of my team and Kawasaki. It has been such a team effort, even though I'm the guy who rode it over the line, there have been so many people involved to make it possible.”

Assessing his hat-trick of world titles, Rea says his squad's work during winter testing to cure his issues from 2016 became the foundations for a near-faultless campaign. The 30-year-old rider has finished on the podium in all but one race this year, missing out at race one at Donington Park due to a rear tyre failure while leading, and has paid tribute to his Kawasaki Racing Team.

“Every season is different and special in it's own individual way,” he explained “2015 was a seamless year, I joined a high level team with a well developed bike. I jumped on a bike that was ready to win and we won. 2016 was more special because we had a completely new ZX-10RR, and I'm really proud of my team for the constant development.

“We had a lot of success last season and although we didn't score as many points, we were able to understand the bike and it was a lot more difficult, so it was a lot harder.

“This season we showed the strength of team, the manufacturer the strength of Pere [Riba, Rea’s crew chief], and we went through some hard winter tests and we worked through the problems, and were able to go out an win at Phillip Island.

“I have to say thank you to Mr Matusda and everyone back in Japan as they work so hard to allow me to live my dream. I cross the line but there are too many names on the list who are involved to say thank you.”


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