Qatar WSBK: Rea takes dominant 15th win of 2017
Jonathan Rea added a 15th World Superbike victory to his 2017 tally after taking a lights-to-flag win in Friday's first race in Qatar.
With a better start than fellow front-row starters Alex Lowes and Tom Sykes, Rea comfortably led into Turn 1, and quickly pulled away from his chasers.
Behind him, Kawsaki teammate Sykes was initially holding second but soon started to fade, dropping behind Lowes' Yamaha and the Ducatis of Chaz Davies, Xavi Fores and Marco Melandri.
Davies and Fores both went past Lowes for second and third, with the latter challenging the former before his Barni-run machine slowed down.
Lowes was back into third after Fores' retirement but only for a handful of laps, as the Yamaha rider ended up crashing out at Turn 9.
That promoted Marco Melandri into the final podium spot, the factory Ducati duo finishing second and third, five and 10 seconds behind Rea respectively.
Sykes had to settle for sixth and will start the final race of the season 10 points behind Davies in the fight for the runner-up spot in the standings.
Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori both passed Sykes for fourth and fifth places, the first time both Milwaukee Aprilia riders finished in the top five this year.
Jordi Torres (Althea BMW), who will race for MV Agusta next year, was seventh, ahead of Puccetti Kawasaki's Sylvain Guintoli, Leon Camier (MV Agusta), and Roman Ramos (GoEleven Kawasaki).
Lowes' Yamaha teammate Michael van der Mark also crashed during the race, touching the rear of Sykes' bike at Turn 7.
Race 1 results:
|9||Leon Camier||MV Agusta||18.494|
|Ret||Raffaele De Rosa||BMW||-|
|Ret||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||-|
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Qatar WSBK: Rea breaks points record with Race 2 win