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WorldSBK Qatar Race 2: Runaway Rea signs off 2017 season with a double in Losail

Jonathan Rea signed off the season with another win in Qatar, while Chaz Davies won the battle for second in the championship as Tom Sykes failed to finish.

The big news for Rea after a somewhat predictable win is that he has now also broken Colin Edwards’ longstanding all time points record by four points, raising it to 556 points in total.

The final race of the year wasn’t a particularly memorable one, and followed a similar theme to the rest of the season. Once Rea had broken away at the front, Davies was unable to catch up and had to settle for second.

The Pata Yamaha duo of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark made an incredible comeback from their double DNF’s yesterday, with Lowes rounding out the podium in third and van der Mark not far behind in fourth. It was a disappointing end to 2017 for the second of the Aruba.it Ducati bikes – Marco Melandri only managed sixth place when we’ve been so used to seeing him fighting up the sharp end.

A hit and miss race for the Milwaukee Aprilia team saw Eugene Laverty get the better of Sylvain Guintoli for seventh after starting from pole position. His team mate Lorenzo Savadori – who lined up next to him on the front row – suffered a horrific start, dropping back to eighteenth by the first corner and eventually having to retire from the race completely.

The 2017 World Superbike Championship is well and truly over, and to be entirely honest it hasn’t been one to remember.

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In a year that has been plagued by the tragic loss of Nicky Hayden, Jonathan Rea has been on absolutely unstoppable form all season to take his third consecutive championship, and no other rider has had the means to keep up.

The grid for 2018 is beginning to take shape, with Rea, Sykes, Davies and Melandri staying at their respective teams. Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes have been confirmed at the Pata Yamaha team for another season, which came as no surprise given their solid finishes throughout the year.

Leon Camier recently announced his move from the MV Agusta Reparto Corse squad to the Red Bull Honda team, with Jordi Torres taking his place on the MV which has struggled with consistency throughout the season.

The 2018 calendar will also see two new additions. The grid will roll into Brno, Czech Republic from the 8th-10th June, and Argentina’s El Villicum will host the World Superbike Championship for the first time on the 12th-14th October, at the expense of Jerez.

With the new regulations being introduced from the start of next season, it is hopeful that the racing will be closer and more engaging, and that the World Superbike Championship can start pulling in the viewing figures it so desperately needs and deserves.

But for now it’s arrivederci, and thanks for sticking with me. See you at Phillip Island, from the 23rd to the 25th February 2018.

World Superbike Race Two:

  1. Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team – 33:39.718
  2. Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Racing Ducati +1.961
  3. Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team +4.185
  4. Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team +5.843
  5. Xavi Fores, BARNI Racing Team +8.987
  6. Marco Melandri, Aruba.it Racing Ducati +14.765
  7. Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia +16.251
  8. Sylvain Guintoli, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing +16.675
  9. Leon Camier, MV Agusta Reparto Corse +19.607
  10. Roman Ramos, Team Kawasaki Go Eleven +20.628

Final World Superbike standings:

  1. Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team – 556 points
  2. Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Racing Ducati – 403 points
  3. Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team – 373 points
  4. Marco Melandri, Aruba.it Racing Ducati – 327 points
  5. Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 242 points
  6. Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 223
  7. Xavi Fores, BARNI Racing Team – 196 points
  8. Leon Camier, MV Agusta Reparto Corse – 168 points
  9. Jordi Torres, Althea BMW Racing Team – 158 points
  10. Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia – 157 points
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