WorldSBK Qatar Race 2 Results: Rea defeats Bautista finale thriller

WorldSBK Qatar Race 2 Results & Report - Jonathan Rea ends a record-breaking season with his 17th win by defeating Alvaro Bautista in a bitter battle

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki ZX-10RR

Jonathan Rea ends the 2019 World Superbike Championship season as the ‘winningest’ rider after defeating Alvaro Bautista in a titanic tussle during the final race of the year at WorldSBK Qatar.

Though Rea has long wrapped up the 2019 WorldSBK title, he came into the finale level on race wins with his Ducati rival and with the pair starting on the front row, the stage was set for a swansong showdown.

And so it proved, Rea and Bautista engaging in a thrilling battle of wills – arguably their first of the year - the former evidently quicker through the sweeping infield but finding it difficult to repel the constant attacks down the home straight propelled by the Ducati Panigale V4 R’s superior top speed.

Indeed, a breathless first couple of laps – involving several other riders – as they shuffled positions lived up to the traditional ‘final race shootout’ drama, before Rea and Bautista began to gap those behind them.

Even so, Rea couldn’t initially shake a feisty-looking Bautista, the Ulsterman unable to break the tow and losing the lead more than once across the line only to out-brake his rival into turn one. However, after Bautista made a definitive pass on lap eight, a determined Rea responded straight back and immediately put the hammer down.

Beginning to put some air between himself and Bautista, the Spaniard’s physical riding style began to show in the closing stages as his rear tyre faded, slipping him into the clutches of his team-mate Chaz Davies, who pounced to get one over on his departing team-mate.

Up front, Rea concluded his record-breaking fifth WorldSBK season with a crucial 17th win of the season, nudging him ahead of Bautista on the winners’ record. Ironically, despite this being the first time all season he has led the victory classification in 2019, he still ends the year 165 points clear of his rival. 

In fourth, Alex Lowes confirmed third position in the overall standings in his final race for Yamaha before he heads to Kawasaki Racing, while the rider that replaces him at Pata - Toprak Razgatlioglu – battled from last to fifth position.

In a frantic end to the race as Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark battled one another over sixth, they were both instead defeated by a flying Eugene Laverty, who overtook three riders on the final lap to secure sixth – his equal best finish of the year.

van der Mark was left seventh, ahead of Loris Baz, while an error in the closing stages dropped Haslam to ninth having run fourth for much of the race.

Sandro Cortese picked up a top ten finish in tenth, ahead of Leandro Mercado and an out-of-sorts Tom Sykes, who ran as high as eighth early on before fading to 12th.

Elsewhere, Marco Melandri’s motorcycle racing career came to a quiet end as he slid down the order to finish out of the points in 17th.

WorldSBK Qatar Race 2 Results

Qatar WorldSBK, Losail - Race Results (2)
1Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR18 Laps
2Chaz Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+2.978
3Alvaro Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+3.100
4Alex LowesGBRPata YamahaYamaha YZF R1+12.473
5Toprak RazgatliogluTURKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+14.346
6Eugene LavertyIRLTeam Goeleven DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+15.109
7Michael van der MarkNEDPata YamahaYamaha YZF R1+15.625
8Loris BazFRATen Kate SBK YamahaYamaha YZF R1+16.020
9Leon HaslamGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+17.854
10Sandro CorteseGERGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R1+18.322
11Leandro MercadoARGOrelac Racing VerdNatura KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR+22.254
12Tom SykesGBRBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR+22.367
13Jordi TorresESPTeam Pedercini Racing KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR+28.179
14Markus ReiterbergerGERBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR+29.487
15Michael Ruben RinaldiITABarni Racing Team DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+32.586
16Leon CamierGBRMoriwaki Althea HondaHonda CBR1000RR+35.726
17Marco MelandriITAGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R1+40.549
18Ryuichi KiyonariJPNMoriwaki Althea HondaHonda CBR1000RR+44.844
DNFDominic SchmitterAUTiXS Racing powered by YARTYamaha YZF R17 Laps
DNFAlessandro DelbiancoITAAlthea Mie Racing Team HondaHonda CBR1000RR2 Laps