Newly crowned WSBK champion Jonathan Rea said his history-making third title in a row was the sweetest of his career after wrapping up the 2017 championship with five races left.

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider earned his 12th win of the season in the wet at Magny-Cour to secure the 2017 world title in emphatic fashion with a 16-second gap over second placed Marco Melandri.

Rea has made history by becoming the first rider to win three consecutive World Superbike titles while it was also the 50th World Superbike race win of his career

He is now level with Troy Corser on three titles and just one behind all-time leader Carl Fogarty on four.

An overwhelmed Rea thanked all involved in his win.

“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.”

“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 and 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.”