The last race of the season took place on a warm night with a cooling track. Third place in the championship was undecided between Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista got good starts and Bautista led on the Ducati unto turn one, but he was a little bit wide and Rea was able to get on the inside and take the lead through turn one. Behind Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam, Chaz Davies got pushed offline and lost a few places.
Starting the second lap, Bautista passed Rea down the straight, using the power advantage of the Ducati to take the lead, but he wasn't able to hold his lead and the pair swapped back and forth four times, the last time had Rea pushing Bautista out enough to let Alex Lowes tae second place from him briefly. After Bautista took second place back, Michael van der Mark nudged his teammate aside, letting Leon Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu follow him past Lowes. Chaz Davies, working his way back toward the front, set the fastest lap.
Chaz Davies carved his way through the pack on lap three, starting the lap in fifth place, seemingly from nowhere as five bikes jostled for third place down the kilometre long straight. Jonathan Rea tried to escape from Alvaro Bautista but the Ducati rider kept with him and set the fastest lap of the race to stay with the leader. A lap later, the leading duo were joined by Chaz Davies who had passed Toprak Razgatlioglu the lap before and made short work of Michael van der Mark into turn one before setting the fastest lap on lap four.
Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista lapped at a high pace with Rea unable to escape Bautista and Bautista unable to find a way past Rea and a few laps later, they were joined by Chaz Davies, while a second behind Davies, Michael van der Mark, Alex Lowes, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Leon Haslam slugged it out for fourth place in the race and, for three of the riders, third place in the championship.
On lap seven, Alvaro Bautista led Jonathan Rea over the line with a gap of zero point zero zero zero seconds, but Jonathan Rea had the inside line and took the lead back on the brakes into turn one, missing the apex, but holding the wide line without giving Bautista a chance to take the lead back. Two laps later, with Davies the fastest man on track as he kept the leading trio under half a second, Bautista took the lead back, drag racing past Rea as Rea kept hard to the right of the straight to stop Bautista's Ducati getting a tow from his Kawasaki. Bautista held the lead until turn six when Rea found a small gap he could turn into a pass.
A lap later, Bautista once again powered past Rea but entered turn one on the outside and had to concede the exit to Rea. On lap thirteen, gaps started to appear between the top three as van der Mark and Lowes fought over fourth place ahead of Razgatlioglu and Haslam, but on lap fourteen, Davies closed the gap to Bautista and passed his teammate at turn fourteen to take second place. With Rea over two seconds clear, Davies lost a bit of his speed and could not clear off from Bautista and the Ducatis slogged it out at the same pace for the last few laps. Eight seconds behind, Alex Lowes had finally put some fresh air between himself and Michael van der Mark, Leon Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu. Chaz Davies was having to sweep across the track down the straight, as did earlier, to stop Bautista from catching a tow and passing him.
On the last lap, the battle for fourth place turns a little chaotic as Leon Haslam made a mistake into turn one and noticed that Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz had caught them all up, putting Haslam in ninth place when the dust settled.
Jonathan Rea made the most of his three second lead to win his seventeenth race of the year, setting a new record, albeit in a year where an extra race was added to each weekend. Chaz Davies held off Alvaro Bautista and took second place by just over a tenth of a second from his teammate. Alex Lowes took a comfortable fourth place, and third place in the world championship with Toprak Razgatlioglu beating Eugene Laverty, Michael van der Mark, Loris Baz and Leon Haslam for fifth place.
On the slow down lap, Razgatlioglu stopped and got handed t-shirts and a flag to celebrate his independent team victory and his departure from the Puccetti team, but he seemed a little despondent at not getting a podium rather than celebratory.
Jonathan Rea headed into Parc Fermé with no fuss, following the exceedingly long black line left by Lucas Mahias earlier in the day, and celebrated another win alongside an exceedingly happy Chaz Davies.
A season that nobody could have predicted, with a year-long battle between Alvaro Bautista on a brand new rocket ship and Jonathan Rea on a Kawasaki made for him, ended under the artificial light of Qatar with Rea doing the impossible and doing it well. Bautista is leaving his team to ride a new Honda that they have promised isn't as utterly rubbish as this year's, and Rea is staying with the team that helped him on his way to five titles in a row, joined by Alex Lowes. Chaz Davies will be joined by the British Superbike champion Scott Redding on the Ducati V4, which should be thoroughly entertaining. Marco Melandri will be enjoying his retirement, but there are bound to be plenty of new faces to make up for the entertaining Italian's absence.
See you in 2020.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||2.978|
|3||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4 R||3.100|
|4||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||12.473|
|5||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||14.346|
|6||50||E. LAVERTY||Ducati Panigale V4 R||15.109|
|7||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||15.625|
|8||76||L. BAZ||Yamaha YZF R1||16.020|
|9||91||L. HASLAM||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||17.854|
|10||11||S. CORTESE||Yamaha YZF R1||18.332|
|11||36||L. MERCADO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||22.254|
|12||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||22.387|
|13||81||J. TORRES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||28.179|
|14||28||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||29.487|
|15||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||32.586|
|16||2||L. CAMIER||Honda CBR1000RR||35.726|
|17||33||M. MELANDRI||Yamaha YZF R1||40.549|
|18||23||R. KIYONARI||Honda CBR1000RR||44.844|
|RET||9||D. SCHMITTER||Yamaha YZF R1||5|
|RET||52||A. DELBIANCO||Honda CBR1000RR||2|