Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea fended off a challenge from Alex Lowes and then one from Chaz Davies to take the WorldSBK race-one victory at Losail this evening.
Rea had Lowes’ Yamaha for company for two-thirds of the 17-lapper but a storming Davies, who had to start from 12th on the grid after a poor Superpole, took up the chase with six laps left to run.
But the Welshman just didn’t have the rear tyre and Rea was able increase his gap from eight-tenths to 2.7s in a couple of laps as they crossed the line.
Lowes took a distant third place but strengthened his hold on championship third place as rival Michael van der Mark was beaten by Leon Haslam to fifth place by 0.013s.
Alvaro Bautista used all his V4R’s pace and power to rocket past some of his opponents on the long Losail straight, scoring an eventual fourth place from seventh on the grid.
Haslam won a great battle with Michael van der Mark (Pata) for fifth place, in a tight final group which eventually included seventh placed Loris Baz on the Ten Kate Yamaha.
Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad) finished eighth but after an early clash with Haslam, Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad) retired with just one complete lap done. The former champion clipped Haslam’s back wheel as the Kawasaki rider ran wide and, as usual, a rear wheel always beats a front wheel.
Eugene Laverty (Team GoEleven Ducati) and top Honda rider Leon Camier (Moriwaki-Althea Honda Racing Team) completed the top ten.
Toprak Razgatlioglu ran off track as he battled with Haslam and van der Mark, eventually finishing in 11th place.