Davies wins the race, Rea the title

Chaz Davies put in a faultless performance to claim the victory in Race 1 in Qatar, however, the night belonged to Jonathan Rea who wrapped up his second WSBK championship title.

Rea lined up on the grid on pole position and on the cusp of history, needing to score just two points to successfully defend his title – and he would only need those two points if Tom Sykes won the race.

He made an incredible start off the line but was barged out of P1 through the first corner as Davies pulled ahead. Nicky Hayden was third ahead of Sykes.

Sykes lost out to Sylvain Guintoli on lap 3, falling 2.5s behind Rea who was sticking to race leader Davies' rear tyre.

Sykes was not able to run with Guintoli, falling further and further off the pace, while the Pata Yamaha rider went on to take third off Hayden.

Halfway through the 17-lap night race Davies was leading by 0.3s ahead of Rea, Guintoli was third ahead of Hayden and Sykes was 7.2s behind the race leader – and the P1 that he needed to keep the championship alive.

Rea, though, was doing his part to ensure he walked away with a second title as he kept Davies honest, sticking to the Ducati rider's rear wheel.

As the tyres began to drop off Davies pulled away from Rea who either didn't have the pace needed to challenge, or didn't see a reason to chance his luck. The gap grew to 1.7s with five to go, 2.4s with three remaining and was up to 4 seconds as Davies began the final lap.

The Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider raced to the victory, his fifth consecutive P1. But the day belonged to 2016 WSBK Champion, Rea.

The Kawasaki rider's championship triumph means he is the first rider since Carl Fogerty in the late 1990s to win back-to-back WSBK titles.

Guintoli was third, achieving Yamaha's first podium of this season, ahead of Sykes and Hayden.

Xavi Fores was sixth ahead of Alex Lowes, Jordi Torrest and Michael van der Mark. Lorenzo Savadori completed the top ten.

Markus Reiterberger was the first to retire followed by Davide Giugliano and Karel Abraham with the latter two pulling into the pits to park their bikes. Leon Camier crashed with four laps to go.

Result
1 DAVIES Chaz Ducati Panigale R 17 laps
2 REA Jonathan Kawasaki ZX-10R 3.904
3 GUINTOLI Sylvain Yamaha YZF R1 10.498 
4 SYKES Tom Kawasaki ZX-10R 12.606 
5 HAYDEN Nicky Honda CBR1000RR SP 12.766 
6 FORÉS Xavi Ducati Panigale R 17.879 
7 LOWES Alex Yamaha YZF R1 18.461 
8 TORRES Jordi BMW S1000 RR 19.045 
9 VAN DER MARK Michael Honda CBR1000RR SP 20.882 
10 SAVADORI Lorenzo Aprilia RSV4 RF 30.057 
11 HASLAM Leon Kawasaki ZX-10R 34.270 
12 DE ROSA Raffaele BMW S1000 RR 34.420 
13 DE ANGELIS Alex Aprilia RSV4 RF 34.936 
14 RAMOS Román Kawasaki ZX-10R 37.786 
15 BROOKES Joshua BMW S1000 RR 37.834 
16 SCASSA Luca Ducati Panigale R 55.890 
17 AL SULAITI Saeed Kawasaki ZX-10R 69.075 
18 CAMIER Leon MV Agusta 1000 F4 79.301 
19 SCHMITTER Dominic Kawasaki ZX-10R 85.103 
20 SEBESTYÉN Péter Yamaha YZF R1 107.707 
21 VIZZIELLO Gianluca Kawasaki ZX-10R 4 Laps
Did not finish
ABRAHAM Karel BMW S1000 RR 6 Laps
GIUGLIANO Davide Ducati Panigale R 7 Laps
REITERBERGER Markus BMW S1000 RR 10 Laps
Did not start
SZKOPEK Pawel Yamaha YZF R1     

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