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WorldSBK Qatar Race 1: Rea secures first victory five seconds ahead of Davies

Jonathan Rea is still searching for that all time points record, and tonight took one step closer as he secured his first win at Qatar under the lights of the Losail International Circuit.

With the fight for the championship over, the fight for second is well and truly on between Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes. Going into race one both were level on points, but Davies came out as the victorious of the two, as he gained twenty points opposed to Sykes’ ten. While Davies fought his way through to second, Sykes was continuously being pushed backwards, unable to find the momentum to fight back and pass anyone.

Now just ten points separate the Welshman from the Yorkshireman, and unlike last year, it may be that Rea won’t assist Sykes as he still aims to break Colin Edwards’ points record.

The race in hand wasn’t exactly thrilling, but it was a fantastic one for the Milwaukee Aprilia duo of Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori. They finished fourth and fifth respectively as they both muscled their way past Sykes to leave him for dust.

Alex Lowes wasn’t having a particularly good time either. He was fighting within podium contention, but crashed out not once, but twice during the race.

After the first crash he managed to remount, but appeared to have lost his right footpeg. The second crash brought his race to an end, as he stormed away from his Yamaha R1 and back to pit lane.

Clothing

Xavi Fores was also fighting hard in third, but was forced to retire with some kind of mechanical issue – details unknown.

Amidst the racing, a lot of talk has turned towards what exactly is happening next year in terms of rule changes. For next season, a rev limit will be brought in along with a concession points system which will restrict engine development of the fastest teams. Teams with fewer concession points will be allowed to update their engines, and private teams will also have access to cost capped parts to assist their development. The price cap will also apply to key frame, suspension and engine parts, to ensure that the field is equal.

Will this penalise the fastest teams? We won’t actually know until the 2018 season starts, but on paper it sounds like it quite possibly will.

The final race of the 2017 World Superbike season will take place tomorrow, where the fight for second in the championship will be decided.

  1. Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team – 33:41.021
  2. Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Racing Ducati +4.944
  3. Marco Melandri, Aruba.it Racing Ducati +10.405
  4. Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia +12.052
  5. Lorenzo Savadori, Milwaukee Aprilia +12.339
  6. Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team +15.587
  7. Jordi Torres, Althea BMW Racing Team +16.789
  8. Sylvain Guintoli, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing +17.869
  9. Leon Camier, MV Agusta Reparto Corse +18.494
  10. Roman Ramos, Team Kawasaki Go Eleven +22.660

 

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