In a season dominated by Kenan Sofuoglu, the only battle left was the three-way battle for second-place between Randy Krummenacher, Jules Cluzel and PJ Jacobsen. Fifteen nighttime laps of Losail would sort that out.
World Superbike standings after the first race at Qatar:
Jonathan Rea led the championship by 48 points from Tom Sykes with only fifty points up for grabs today and tomorrow. The penultimate race of the year was held at night, just before Europe changed its clocks for winter.
With the European Supersport riders not competing, Superpole one looked empty with only fourteen riders taking part in the opening nighttime session. Niki Tuuli didn't make it to Qatar, in spite of three podiums in his only three races.
The last qualifying of the year took place after the sun set over Qatar, with fifteen bikes and riders taking part in the first Superpole session, with Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark the fastest men not to automatically qualify for the second session.
Kenan Sofuoglu heads to qualifying as the fastest rider in the untimed session, almost half a second quicker than Ayrton Badovini.
Chaz Davies, Jonathan Rea, Xavi Fores and Sylvain Guintoli complete the untimed session in the same order as they finished qulalifying yesterday. Tom Sykes
Chaz Davies takes provisional pole by less than five hundredths of a second from Jonathan Rea in the last timed session before Superpole. Leon Haslam, after a tough morning getting used to World Superbike after a long absence, is the quickest rider in Superpole one, with Michael van der Mark unable to improve on his morning's time as second favourite to advance to Superpole one. Tom Sykes continued to struggle, only managing to go ninth quickest, seven tenths off the pace.
Randy Krummenacher, Ayrton Badovini and Alex Baldolini turned qualifying on its head by relegating the morning's fast men off the provisional front row.
Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies open the weekend with the two quickest times ahead of Michael van der Mark. Tom Sykes, Rea's only remaining challenger for the title, was thirteenth quickest.