Tissot-Superpole – Jonathan Rea (Race 1: 2nd)
Jonathan Rea recorded his 8th career pole position, equalling the 12th all-time spot with Giancarlo Falappa, Scott Russell, and Aaron Slight.
With two pole positions and overall nine front row starts, this season is recorded as the Kawasaki rider’s most successful season of qualifying. In 2015 and 2011 he also achieved two poles, but didn’t start from the front row as many times in a season.
Rea gave Great Britain its 12th pole of the season: it’s the first time in WorldSBK that so many pole positions have been recorded by riders of the same country.
Rea’s pole position was the 10th for Kawasaki this season; They are now the third manufacturer with at least 10 pole starts in a single championship. Ducati leads the overall standings with 13 poles recorded in one season in 1992, while Yamaha recorded 11 in the 2009 season.
In Race 1, Rea claimed his 87th podium finish, which equals Aaron Slight at the 5th all-time spot.
Rea’s second place finish was his 22nd podium of the season. In Race 2 if he finishes on the rostrum once again, he will equal his 2015 tally of 23 podiums. Only Colin Edwards has previously claimed more podiums in a Championship, with 25 in 2002.
Jonathan Rea has now recorded a second place finish in Qatar for a third time. On the current calendar, Losail and Jerez are the only two circuits he hasn’t won at yet.
Compared to Chaz Davies’ 10 wins this season, Rea has only won 9. Starting Race 2 from pole will be the best opportunity for the Northern Irishman to equal Davies on that figure. The last time a World Champion didn’t win the most races was in 2014, when the title-holder Sylvain Guintoli only won 5 races compared to the season’s runner up, Tom Sykes who’d won 8.
2nd – Nicky Hayden (Race 1: 5th)
Starting from second on the grid has been Nicky Hayden’s career best qualifying result in WorldSBK and his second front row start this season.
Hayden is the first Honda rider to record two front row starts in one season, since Jonathan Rea recorded three in 2014.
3rd – Chaz Davies (Race 1: Winner)
Race 1 was the fifth time Chaz Davies started from the front row this season, and a career best for so many front row starts in a single season. This makes him the 15th rider to win at least 10 times in one season and he passed the milestone of 1500 career points, with 1505.5.
Davies’ front row start meant Ducati has had at least one bike on the front row for an incredible 320th race weekend. (602 total front row grid spots).
After winning Race 1 he now counts on 19 career wins, which make him equal with Marco Melandri in the 12th all-time rankings. It was also the Welshman’s 48th podium, bringing him just shy of Melandri and 2011 World Champion Carlos Checa who occupy the 13th all-time ranking.
Davies’ Race 1 victory is his 5th consecutive win and he now holds the record among the current riders. If he wins Race 2, he will equal the third overall consecutive win streak recorded by Troy Bayliss, who did it twice in 2002 from Valencia/1 to Kyalami/2 and from Silverstone/2 to Laguna Seca/1.
Davies’ win is Ducati’s 10th this season. Only in 2011 were they able to win more with Carlos Checa who won 15 times. All of Ducati’s wins this season are thanks to Chaz Davies, who has claimed all of their wins both this season and last.
Statistics by Michele Merlino
Davies recorded the 24th win for Great Britain this year (10 Davies, 9 Rea, 5 Sykes): in Race 2 the Brits can equal the all-time record of 25, previously set by themselves in 2015.
•Chaz Davies was the 11th different winner in Qatar out of the 15 races held there so far.
•In Race 1, a British rider won for the 13th consecutive race; this is the second longest run of consecutive race wins for
British riders after the 24 successive wins recorded between Phillip Island/1 and Magny Cours/2 last year.
•Emphasising the British domination of WorldSBK is the fact that since the start of 2015, only two races have been won
by non-British riders; Qatar/1 last year (maiden win for Jordi Torres) and Malaysia/2 this year (maiden win for Nicky
Hayden). The other 49 races have been won by Rea (23), Davies (15), Sykes (9) and Leon Haslam (2).
•The last two races have been led by Chaz Davies and the last four, by Davies and Sykes.
•Jonathan Rea will be the undisputed Championship leader for the 50th straight race after Race 2, extending his all-time record of races at the top of the standings.
Yamaha back on the podium
Sylvain Guintoli’s podium finish was the first for Yamaha this year. Some notes on his achievement:
•It’s the first podium for Yamaha since 2011, when they recorded 21, and were second only to Ducati that year (27 podiums).
•This was the 222nd race where Yamaha finished on the podium, the first since Algarve in 2011. Race 2, when Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty recorded a 1-2 for the Japanese manufacturer.
•Guintoli has finished on the podium with four different manufacturers: the record holder so far Troy Corser, who has finshed on the podium with six different manufacturers (Ducati, Aprilia, Petronas, Suzuki, Yamaha, BMW).
•Guintoli claimed his last three podiums with three different manufacturers (Aprilia, Honda, Yamaha) across three years: Losail/2 2014, where he clinched the world title, Aprilia in Magny Cours/1 2015, and Yamaha in race 1 at Losail.
•In the last six seasons Guintoli has been on the podium at least once per year.
•The last time a manufacturer claimed its first podium of the season in the final race weekend of the year was in 2007,
Race 2 at Magny-Cours. Fonsi Nieto was the man who achieved the only podium for Kawasaki that year, with a third place.
Jonathan Rea World Champion
Jonathan Rea claimed his second World Championship in Qatar, here are some figures about his achievement in his WorldSBK career.
•He’s the first back-to-back Champion of the Century: the last was Carl Fogarty in 1998-1999.
•He’s the first rider to win two championships with a Kawasaki.
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