The 2020 WorldSBK Championship may be - mathematically speaking - going down to the wire but in reality there is little doubt Jonathan Rea will be crowned champion for a sixth consecutive season this weekend.

While a turnaround in fortunes at Magny-Cours allowed Scott Redding to keep his faint hopes alive into this weekend’s Estoril climax - the first time WorldSBK has raced at the Portuguese circuit since 1993 - Rea merely needs to canter in just one of the three races to seal the inevitable.

While there have been examples of riders coming from behind entering a final race, most notably Ben Spies in 2009 and Sylvain Guintoli in 2014, Redding has a vast 59 point gap to bridge to Rea.

In real terms, it means Rea needs only three points from the first race - 13th position - while anything lower than that would still mean Redding has to win.

More of a challenge for Rea will be to win race one, in that it would poignantly see him notch up a 100th  WorldSBK victory while breaking his own record to make it six career WorldSBK titles.

“It is super-exciting going into the final round with a championship to play for after what has been a very strange year with only eight rounds. Going into the last round with an advantage in the standings is really positive. 

“Estoril is a new track for us so I am really excited to learn it. It is always a good challenge and I feel that with the Ninja ZX-10RR we always arrive in new circuits with a strong base. Friday will be about learning the track, working out our potential and remaining calm. Because it is a new track I am sure we will find some challenges but the layout looks like it should suit us. 

“We will try to build the package to fight for the podiums in all races, which is the target. It has been a strange season under this new working environment and this is our last opportunity to go racing this year. I hear we may have some fans back again at this round, like we did in France, which was super-nice.”

This weekend is also set to see the current generation Kawasaki ZX-10RR ‘retired’ ahead of a new model which is expected to be revealed next month.