It was a busy track at Jerez, with more teams from various classes having converged on the circuit for the last couple of days testing. While the Suzuki factory MotoGP team has packed up and left, their place has been taken by the Ducati factory team, both MotoGP and World Superbike, along with the Forward Yamaha Open class team and Avintia Ducati. There were a number of Moto2 riders lapping here, rather than joining the Marc VDS Racing team and Gresini at Almeria, the Pons Kalex and QMMF teams taking to the track at Jerez.
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Alex Lowes has topped the second day of combined testing for teams from both major world championships at Jerez. After another wet morning, the track finally dried out in the afternoon, allowing the riders to post competitive lap times. Lowes ended the day as fastest, the Suzuki rider posting a fast lap right at the end of the day, beating his superpole time from the race weekend here back in September.
The last World Superbike race of a season is done, and with it, the season is over. The cloud of team orders hung over the overnight races, and tensions rose over orders refused.
The results of last World Superbike race of the season, held under the floodlights of Qatar.
The World Supersport championship was settled in Magny Cours, but second place remained to be decided.
Michael van der Mark led Film Wilairot ahead of Lucas Mahais, Lorenzo Zanetti, Jules Cluzel and Kev Coghlan who built a gap from Kenan Sofuoglu who in turn picked up Roberto Rolfo to race with as Jack Kennedy had to pull in due to a mechanical problem after a few laps.
In the penultimate Superbike race, the first ever at night, Sylvain Guintoli could not win the title, but, if things went his way, Sykes could.
Sykes took the lead from third place on the grid by the first turn, with Guintoli right behind him, but Jonathan Rea and Loris Baz passed him, putting Guintoli three places behind Sykes. Rea took the lead from Sykes before the first lap ended, but on the straight at the start of the second lap, Sykes and Rea were both passed by Loris Baz, making the most of the clean air in the wake of the two leaders.
Qualifying for the last race weekend of the season is done and all that's left now is to race. Tom Sykes or Sylvain Guintoli will be crowned champion in a matter of hours.
So far, the advantage is, as it has been for much of the year, with Tom Sykes, with the Englishman getting his Kawasaki on the front row, but the momentum is with Sylvain Guintoli, having pulled 125 points in the last six races to Sykes's 94. The Frenchman was only able to get his Aprilia onto the second row.
Late night superpole under the lights at Qatar, with Marco Melandri entering the first session as the man most likely to be promoted.
Melandri pushed to the front of the crowd, making the most of his 20kmh advantage over the Evo bikes, and set the benchmark with a 1'59.031 on a race tyre before pulling into the pits to get the qualifying tyre fitted, while most of the rest of the field stayed out for a second lap on the slower tyre.
Nighttime World Supersport qualifying at Qatar.
In a session led most of the time by Michael van der Mark with his teammate Lorenzo Zanetti close behind, Jules Cluzel used clean air behind Lucas Mahais to slipstream to pole position.
Jonathan Rea continues to post fast times on his Honda CBR1000R while the Kawasaki pairing of Tom Sykes and Loris Baz are between him and Sylvain Guintoli. Marco Melandri continues his poor form, over a second off Rea's fast lap.
In what looked like it was going to be another weekend of dominance by Michael van der Mark, Kenan Sofuoglu ekes past at the last minute, with a 2'02.576. Van der Mark and Jules Cluzel were within a tenth of a second of the Turkish rider, while Film Wilairot was three tenths further back.
On the last Free Practice session of the day, moved forward from Saturday due to the nighttime schedule, Davide Giugliano recorded the first 1'57 lap of the weekend, ahead of Jonathan Rea and Sylvain Guintoli. Loris Baz, who narrowly avoided a high-speed crash with Gabor Rizmayer in the previous session, was fourth quickest.
While Michael van der Mark again takes the fastest slot, French Supersport champion Lucas Mahias, on his second wildcard ride of the year, goes second quickest under the lights of Losail.
Eugene Laverty increased the pace in the second of three sessions today, with Chaz Davies close behind. Sylvain Guintoli continues to be the quicker of the title challengers.
Newly crowned world champion Michael van der Mark was quickest by almost a second, ahead of Florian Marino and Lorenzo Zanetti with Jules Cluzel in fourth place.