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Qatar WSBK: Rea crowned world champion as Davies wins race one

Aruba Ducati’s Chaz Davies put on another riding masterclass for a lights-to-flag win in Qatar this evening but it is Jonathan Rea who is crowned World Superbike Champion for a second time.

The Castletown resident stayed with Davies for half the race but didn’t need to run any risks and brought home a safe second place to become the first rider since Carl Fogarty to win successive championships.

“It’s more special than last year but in different ways. The championship happened as a result of having an amazing rhythm through the year. It wasn’t easy, I really had to work hard to win it,” said Rea, speaking in parc ferme.


“I want to thank everyone in my corner. I take so much because this 2016 ZX-10R is like my son, it’s the first year with the new bike. We have a lot of development to do but we have demonstrated how strong we are.”

Poleman Rea got the holeshot but was duffed by Davies and Honda’s Nicky Hayden into turn one. He was straight back past the American a corner later, and he and Davies opened an immediate gap which Hayden could do nothing about.

Rea didn’t look like he was going to make a challenge for the whole race as the Ballymena-born Kawasaki man only needed two points from the race to secure his title.

As Davies got the hammer down, Rea seemed content to just about keep him in sight and crossed the line four seconds adrift of the works Ducati man, who has now won the last five races on the bounce and closes to only seven points behind Sykes in the chase for second.

After being left behind, Hayden had a lonely few laps until he was caught by former champion Sylvain Guintoli. The Pata Yamaha man had passed Sykes for fourth on lap three and then got on Hayden’s rear wheel two laps later.

However, it took until lap seven for the Frenchman to pass Hayden. Sykes struggled in the opening laps but found his rhythm at half distance, slowly reeling in the Kentucky rider and then putting a move on him into turn one on the last lap.

Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores got the better of Alex Lowes and Jordi Torres for in their battle for sixth place after Leon Camier crashed with four left to run but remounted for 18th.

Michael Van Der Mark and Lorenzo Savadori, who had to fight his way back from a mistake on the opening lap, completed the top ten with Britain’s Leon Haslam in 11th on the Pedercini Kawasaki. Josh Brookes grabbed the last point in 15th place.

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