Photo: World Superbike
The 2016 World Superbike champion will be decided at this weekend’s double-header in Qatar, but it will take a miracle for Tom Sykes to upset his teammate.
Sykes and Jonathan Rea have dominated the Superbike class all season long, with Ducati’s Chaz Davies as their only real competition. But now, Davies is out of the title hunt, and Sykes is realistically not far behind.
Rea is sitting on 462 points going into the weekend, while Sykes only has 414. Rea only needs two points to clinch his second championship, while Sykes must win both races and have Rea earn no more than a single point. Given Rea’s performance this season, that’s highly unlikely.
The last World Superbike repeat champ was Carl Fogerty, who achieved the feat in 1998-1999 and also in 1994-1995. Fred Merkel and Doug Polen also earned the distinction of back-to-back season wins; the closest in recent history has been Sykes, who’s finished in the top three for five seasons in a row (and is probably mourning the day Kawasaki hired Rea, who’s beaten him consistently since joining the team).