Jonathon Rea continues winning World Superbike spree
Ballyclare rider Jonathon Rea continued on his winning spree at the weekend in the penultimate round of the 2018 World Superbike Championships.
The Kawasaki rider notched up straight win number 11 at the Pirelli Qatar round to match Doug Polen's record for the most race wins in a season.
But Rea's dominance was halted in race two, not by his fellow competitors, but by heavy rain and strong winds which resulted in race being cancelled.
In his opening race, Rea was simply untouchable.
He took the lead from the off and was never headed for the duration of the race.
Rea's outgoing team-mate, Tom Sykes, finished second, just ahead of Alex Lowes on the Pata Yamaha, with Ireland's Eugene Laverty taking a solid fourth place on the Milwaukee Aprilia.
Afterwards, a clearly delighted Rea said: "I had my eye on the 17 win thing as everyone was talking about it.
"I really can't believe it and I'm very fortunate that my team give me such a good bike.
"It is disappointing that race two didn't go ahead but there was no way we were going to race in those conditions."
Toomebridge rider Eugene Laverty was equally happy with his performance but somewhat downbeat that he will not be included in his team's plans for the 2019 season.
"If I'm honest,I was surprised that I was not in the team's plans for 2019,'' he said.
"It's very late in the day now to be looking for a seat in WSB for 2019 as a lot of doors have already closed.
"There are still a few seats so not all the doors are closed, and I'll be striving to stay in for 2019".
Meanwhile, at the Australian round of the World Motogp in Phillip Island, Spain's Maverick Vinales ended Yamaha's 25-race victory drought with a spectacular win,
He had 1.5 seconds to spare over runner-up Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso.
Race favourite and reigning world champion Marc Marquez looked on course for another possible win only for the Repsol Honda rider to be involved in a collision with Johann Zarco.
Both riders crashed out at high speed.
Zarco walked away from the incident while try as he might to continue in the race, Marquez had to retire soon afterwards due to damage to his Honda.