Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea has admitted that he is on cloud nine after clinching his first World Superbike Championship title at Jerez on Sunday.
Rea, who has dominated the season with 12 victories, only needed one top-10 finish to be crowned champion, and he did that and more, finishing fourth in both races.
Not surprisingly, the Ulsterman was delighted to have secured the crowning achievement of his motorcycle racing career.
"It's an amazing moment for me in my career," he told reporters. "I started schoolboy motorcross when I was six years old spending time at the race circuits with my father and growing up in a racing environment I always dreamed of being world champion.
"To the point where I raced round and round my house on my bicycle commentating on my racing, pretending to be world champion. I was only seven or eight years old. To be here and have this moment is incredible. It was a lot of hard work from myself, a lot of sacrifices and dedication from my family. Most of all this wouldn't have been possible without Kawasaki."
"I want to thank Guim Roda (Kawasaki team manager) and Steve Guttridge (Kawasaki Europe Racing Manager) who believed in me and gave me this opportunity. Last season here we signed a contract so it's really fitting that we lifted the world championship today. Right now it hasn't sunk in. When my mechanics were putting the #1 sticker on my bike on the slowdown lap it felt really strange. I'm just so happy and grateful for this opportunity."
Rea admitted that winning the World Superbike title made up for all the hard times and numerous injuries that he has had to endure in the past.
"There have been many hard times too," he said. "Moments like this are even more special because of the amount of challenges I've faced with injuries, a broken wrist, and more recently in 2013 with a bad fracture of my femur at the Nurburgring."
Rea added that he is already looking forward to the 2016 season where he will look to retain his title on the new ZX10R Kawasaki are launching next month.
"To win a world championship is one of the most difficult things I've done so far. But to reconfirm a world championship is going to be more difficult," he said. "I'm really excited because on October the 8th we're launching the new ZX-10R in Barcelona. This is another exciting challenge for us. I'm really excited to be part of the new bike and that will be motivation for me in the winter.
"To make that bike even better than the one we currently have. Sure, it's going to be tougher. I think we've won this championship because we've been so strong every weekend. The worst results of the season were here. Two fourth places. I think that shows the level of myself, the personnel around me and the level of the ZX-10R. I think it'll be a new challenge next year but it's exciting. That's where I'm getting my motivation from."