2019 World Superbikes
Round 13 – Motul Qatar Round
Under the spotlights of the Losail Circuit Sports Club of Doha, Qatar, five-time World Champion Jonathan Rea won Race 1 of the MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship, marking his 15th victory of the season, and ensuring the Manufacturer World Championship, is won for the fifth consecutive year by Kawasaki.
Rea earned pole position with a time of 1’56.246 and in the race he finished ahead of Chaz Davies on Ducati, second in the Manufacturer Championship, and Alex Lowes on his Yamaha, the Championship third-place manufacturer.
In Race 1, reigning World Champion Jonathan Rea started well from the first spot on the grid and led from flag to flag without any worries from his rivals.
Behind him, both Alex Lowes and Sandro Cortese started well, followed by Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies.
During the second lap, Tom Sykes crashed out whilst trying to avoid Leon Haslam who was ahead of him, ending his race early.
On the fourth lap, Chaz Davies managed to move into third, overtaking Cortese, with the latter then forced to retire on the sixth lap due to a crash.
In the meantime, succeeded in moving into fourth after starting seventh.
The last important pass of the race came on the fourteenth lap, with Chaz Davies overtaking Alex Lowes, allowing the Welshman to finish on the second step of the podium.
There were no upsets in the final part of the race and Rea went on to finish with a 2.7 seconds advantage ahead of Davies and more than five-seconds ahead of Alex Lowes.
“That was a massive target met. What a year – all the big awards. The Riders’ Championship, Superpole Award, Manufacturers’ Championship… That was the target coming here. I knew I had to finish in front of the Ducatis to win the Manufacturers’ Award today. I felt good from the start with the bike. I had such a good rhythm in Race One, it felt quite automatic, but I know I need to make a step for tomorrow because the pace could be faster with more rubber down. But that might help our situation with more rubber on the track. We just need to work in some areas on the front of the bike to finish the corner a bit better.”
“It was a really good race actually, much better than expectations, especially after Superpole which was a bad showing, because I just wasn’t able to get the best out of the fresh rear tyre. In the race I got a good start into the first corner, and then the rest was just solid. I had really good pace, I was smooth and clean, trying to get a tenth of a second here and there and see if I could be in the mix with Jonathan come the end of the race. Unfortunately, I just used that little bit extra more tyre to keep me in the fight in the final stages. I’m pretty happy with the result, but I feel we can work on our package a bit and maybe up our pace tomorrow.”
“A good grid position was important because on this track it’s easy for the first few guys to get away in the early laps, even with the slipstream effect on the straight. I felt good from the start and managed to jump on the back of Jonathan, who’s always so fast early on, and that helped us pull away. In the mid part of the race I felt quite good, taking some better lines and I thought I might be able to challenge for the lead. But then I started to make some mistakes on the front and Chaz came past me. I saw I had a big gap back to fourth and, at that point, I decided to be sensible and bring the bike home for a podium finish. It was important to start with a good result in Race 1; while it wasn’t possible to secure third place in the championship today, it was certainly possible to make the job a lot harder. I really enjoyed today and now the focus is on tomorrow, which we’ll take race by race.”
Alvaro Bautista was fourth in a quiet race for the Spaniard behind the all-British podium, whilst prevailing in the battle for fifth was Leon Haslam, seeing off Michael van der Mark on the run to the line.
“Today was a difficult day because already in yesterday’s practice sessions I wasn’t able to find a good feeling with my Panigale V4 R. Today we made some changes to the set-up but unfortunately they didn’t work as expected. After a few laps, with the tyre wear, the bike started to move about in the rear, and as a result I was struggling to keep the right lines. In addition, I lost a few places at the start: at the first corner I found myself on the outside losing ground to the riders who were on the inside. Despite these difficulties I did my best to get back up to fourth place, but wasn’t able to close the gap to the podium battle. I think I managed to get the best possible result and we’ll try and improve tomorrow.”
“From FP1, FP2, FP3 to Superpole we got faster and faster. We were trying not to run before we could walk, learning this track again, and the way around. We knew everything was going to be difficult here and that fifth is what we could do today. We got caught up a little bit in the early laps with a few people, I got hit by Tom Sykes, got punted off once, but my battle was my battle and I managed to beat them. To make that next step, and go with Lowes and Chaz, we need to make a couple more tenths – and we also need to get away with them as well. We will see what we can do tomorrow.”
Loris Baz was a strong seventh place, whilst it was a classy eighth place for Markus Reiterberger, with his first top ten since the Tissot Superpole Race at Imola.
Ninth place went to Ireland’s Eugene Laverty, who had a strong ride into the top ten, whilst Leon Camier made it all manufacturers represented inside the top ten. Toprak Razgatlioglu recovered to 11th.
WorldSBK Race 1 Result
|1||J. Rea||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||0.000|
|2||C. Davies||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+2.732|
|3||A. Lowes||Yamaha YZF R1||+5.423|
|4||A. Bautista||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+8.043|
|5||L. Haslam||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+17.720|
|6||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha YZF R1||+17.738|
|7||L. Baz||Yamaha YZF R1||+18.176|
|8||M. Reiterberger||BMW S1000 RR||+20.479|
|9||E. Laverty||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+24.500|
|10||L. Camier||Honda CBR1000RR||+29.320|
|11||T. Razgatlioglu||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+33.166|
|12||M. Melandri||Yamaha YZF R1||+34.673|
|13||M. Rinaldi||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+42.661|
|14||R. Kiyonari||Honda CBR1000RR||+50.020|
|15||A. Delbianco||Honda CBR1000RR||+54.485|
|16||D. Schmitter||Yamaha YZF R1||+1m08.582|
|RET||L Mercardo||Kawasaki ZX-10R||11 Laps|
|RET||11 S. Cortese||Yamaha YZF R1||12 Laps|
|RET||66 T. Sykes||BMW S1000 RR||16 Laps|
|RET||81 J. Torres||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||/|
World Superbike Standings
|4||Michael Van Der Mark||314|
|13||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||121|
After the opening ten minutes of the session had seen the times settle down and the grid begin to take some sort of shape, Lucas Mahias was on top, with the Frenchman towing Federico Caricasulo around the Losail International Circuit. Provisionally second and third were Ayrton Badovini and Jules Cluzel, the latter being the top Championship contender.
Randy Krummenacher was the first rider to get down to business and hit the top of the timesheets with the fastest lap of the weekend. Corentin Perolari was right in behind the Swiss rider and took second, but there were strong times coming in from Mahias and Caricasulo – both riders looking to secure pole position and now, running separately on the track.
Mahias came to the fore and briefly went top, only for Caricasulo to better it, as the Italian came up from ninth to pole position. It was more bad news for Mahias, as he had a lap time cancelled and saw him drop to fifth. Joining Caricasulo on the front are his title rivals, Randy Krummenacher and Jules Cluzel – all three WorldSSP title contenders in the top three positions – would that be how the standings would read come Saturday evening?
Corentin Perolari secured fourth place with a good lap time, ahead of a disconsolate Lucas Mahias, down in fifth. Hikari Okubo was back inside the top six and completed the second row, after what had been a relatively quiet weekend up until that moment, pipping the final second row spot away at the dying moments.
Nabbed right at the end, Badovini heads up row three from seventh on the grid, whilst Isaac Viñales’ podium charge looks set to come from eighth on the grid – the Spaniard on the rostrum in the last two rounds. Kyle Smith was once again in ninth place, whilst an injured and recovering Thomas Gradinger completed the top ten.
Outside the top ten, Raffaele De Rosa was only 11th, ahead of the top Honda of Jules Danilo. Home-hero wildcard and Qatari Supersport Champion Saeed Al Sulaiti was 13th. Peter Sebestyen was 14th.
World Supersport Qualifying Top 6
- Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) 2’01.219
- Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.274
- Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) +0.433
- Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) +0.510
- Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.550
- Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.565
World Supersport Standings
|6||Raffaele De Rosa||92|
|20||Glenn Van Straalen||9|
|22||Jaimie Van Sikkelerus||9|
The usual unpredictability of WorldSSP300 showed, with a group of over 20 riders lapping together and taking advantage of the front straight for slipstreaming. However, it was Ana Carrasco who was using her WorldSSP300 Championship-winning experience to set consistently strong lap times on her own, leading the session for the majority of the session. Her rivals for second in the Championship, Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) and Scott Deroue were stuck in the battling pack.
Out front, nobody could keep with Ana Carrasco, who took her first pole position of the 2019 season. The out-going WorldSSP300 Champion headed Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project), who achieved his best ever WorldSSP300 starting position, ahead of Australian, Tom Edwards – securing his first front row of the 2019 World Supersport 300 season.
Heading up row two on the grid is WorldSSP300 World Champion Manuel Gonzalez, uncharacteristically out-qualified by teammate Tom Edwards. Indonesian star Galang Hendra Pratama was inside the top five and finished fifth overall, whilst Jeffrey Buis (MTM Racing Team) continued his strong weekend to finish sixth, his second consecutive top six result after Tissot Superpole.
Leading from row three in seventh place, 2017 WorldSSP300 Champion Marc Garcia made the most of his limited track time, whilst Scott Deroue was eighth, unable to match Carrasco in the battle for second overall in the Championship. Oliver König was a strong ninth, whilst completing the top ten was Victor Steeman.
Tissot Superpole Top Six
- Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) 2’14.139
- Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) +0.366
- Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) +0.535
- Manuel González (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) +0.584
- Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) +0.637
- Jeffrey Buis (MTM Racing Team) +0.735
World Supersport 300 Standings
|8||Galang Hendra Pratama||55|
|9||Hugo De Cancellis||47|
|20||Samuel Di Sora||11|
|21||Enzo De La Vega||11|
|31||Ferran Hernandez Moyano||6|
|34||Joel Damon Kelso||4|
|35||Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez||4|