Editorial Note: American Dallas Daniels finished 21st in the Supersport 300 World Championship race on a BCD Yamaha MS Racing YZF-R3. Scott Deroue won the race a MOTOPORT Kawasaki Ninja 400.
Race Lap Record: 1:56.687, Jonathan Rea, 2019
All-Time Lap Record: 1:56.124, Tom Sykes, 2018
FIM Superbike World Championship
Losail International Circuit
October 26, 2019
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):
- Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 17 laps, Total Race Time 33 minutes, 34.809 seconds, Fastest Lap Time 1:57.688
- Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale V4 R), -2.978 seconds, 1:57.470
- Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Duc Panigale V4 R), -3.100 seconds, 1:57.644
- Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -12.473, 1:58.071
- Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), -14.346, 1:58.363
- Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Duc Panigale V4 R), -15.109, 1:58.489
- Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), -15.625, 1:58.156
- Loris Baz, France (Yam YZF-R1), -16.020, ran off track, 1:58.134
- Leon Haslam, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), -17.854, 1:58.387
- Sandro Cortese, Germany (Yam YZF-R1), -18.332, 1:58.419
- Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kaw ZX-10RR), -22.254, 1:58.582
- Tom Sykes, UK (BMW S1000RR), -22.387, 1:58.587
- Jordi Torres, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), -28.179, 1:59.105
- Markus Reiterberger, Germany (BMW S1000RR), -29.487, 1:58.972
- Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Duc Panigale V4 R), -32.586, 1:58.683
- Leon Camier, UK (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -35.726, 1:59.649
- Marco Melandri, Italy (Yam YZF-R1), -40.549, ran off track, 1:58.889
- Ryuichi Kiyonari, Japan (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -44.844, 1:59.892
- Dominic Schmitter, Switzerland (Yam YZF-R1), -12 laps, DNF, retired, 2:02.145
- Alessandro Delbianco, Italy (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -15 laps, DNF, retired, 2:01.731
World Championship Point Standings (after 37 of 37 races):
- Rea, 663 points (clinched 2019 World Championship)
- Bautista, 498
- Lowes, 341
- Van Der Mark, 327
- Razgatlioglu, 315
- Davies, 294
- Haslam, 281
- Sykes, 223
- Melandri, 177
- Baz, 138
More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
More, from a press release issued by Moriwaki Althea Honda Team:
The curtain comes down on the 2019 WorldSBK Championship with the final two races of the season in Qatar.
The Moriwaki Althea Honda riders had high hopes to build on the promising results they scored on Friday, but these were unfortunately dashed by various issues they suffered with the set-up of their bikes today.
Leon Camier concluded the sprint race in thirteenth place and Race 2 in sixteenth, while Ryuichi Kiyonari crossed the line in sixteenth and eighteenth respectively.
As the riders cross the finish line in Qatar, the curtain comes down on an exciting and extremely hard-fought 2019 Superbike World Championship season.
SUPERPOLE RACE P13 RACE2 P16
“We need to double check our data to understand what kind of issue we had today because we are still not sure. We made only a tiny change to the front setting before the start of Race 2 but it did not work as we had hoped and on the grid we went back to what we had this morning. Unfortunately, something happened and it became really, really hard to ride the bike. I quickly lost many positions and it was all I could do to reach the end.”
SUPERPOLE RACE P16 RACE2 P18
“We improved the front feeling today but not enough, so despite having made a good start to the race, one of the best this year for me in fact, I could not hold my position. I was slow from mid-corner to exit and several riders passed me there. I tried to stick with them but unfortunately it was not possible. I wish to apologize to my team for this result but, at the same time, say a big thank you to everybody for their hard work and support this year”.
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team:
The 2019 WorldSBK Championship draws to a close for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in Qatar.
Losail International Circuit
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Teams season today came to end following the 13 round Championship across the globe. Tom Sykes re-took his fourth position on the grid ahead of the 10 lap Superpole race, Reiterberger in P9. Sykes didn’t make the best of starts to the race and found himself down in seventh after lap 1. Tom struggled to match the pace of the front runners throughout and slipped down the order lap after lap – final position P12. Markus Reiterberger looking to replicate his impressive performance in Race 1 yesterday unfortunately didn’t make the start he was hoping for, dropping into P12 on the opening lap. Similar to his teammate, Markus struggled to maintain his pace and finished the sprint race in P15.
The final 17 lap race of the season soon approached with Sykes taking his new reformed position on the grid in P10, Reiterberger alongside him in P11. Reiterberger got off the line well however ran out wide at T1, loosing multiple places. Markus then found himself in battle with Michael Ruben Rinaldi and managed to make a move on him on lap 14.– Markus Reiterbergers’ final race position of 2019 ended in P14.
Sykes, who has struggled with race pace all weekend looked to make amends in his final race of the year. Sykes started his race in reasonable fashion holding P9 for the opening stages of the race. He slipped back a further three places in the latter stages to bring his BMW home in P12 in his final outing of the season.
The 2019 World Superbike Championship season has been a year of many highs and lows for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team but most importantly a successful year of development. Tom Sykes ends his season P8 in the standing with 223 points, claiming 4 podiums and 1 pole position. Markus Reiterberger finishes the 2019 season in P14 with 83 points to his name.
Shaun Muir, Team Principal:
A tough day today, we didn’t make much progress from the first day on track Thursday and has been a difficult weekend ever since. We felt we had some momentum from Magny – Cours going into Argentina which didn’t turn out positive and that has followed us really into Qatar where we have been chasing a set-up. Markus on paper looked like he was having a good weekend, he had good pace in race 1 and into the Superpole race but unfortunately, could not convert this into a strong position today.
“Tom equally suffered after the Race 1 crash, the Superpole race was disappointing and couldn’t find the balance nor momentum which continued into the rest of his weekend so sadly we are signing off in Qatar not where we hoped to be. However, on a whole we have achieved our targets of 2019 in what have been a successful first development season so onward and upwards for 2020.”
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
“Of course, that was not quite how we had hoped to round off the season. However, we continue to struggle to adapt to changing conditions, as we saw in these fluctuating temperatures. That is one of the areas that we will have to work on. We were able to collect more valuable information during this weekend in Qatar, which we will be able to use during the winter break as we prepare for next season. Overall, we feel positive about how it went. From the start, we viewed 2019 as a year for learning and we did record four podiums, one pole position and many top 6 finishes. That is something to be pleased about and we can build on this next season. I would like to thank the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team and our riders Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger. Everyone has been working hard since the project got going. No-one gave up after any setbacks and that ensured that this was a successful debut season. Thanks to everyone for that. Markus is now bidding farewell to the team – I would like to wish him all the best for the future.”
“It’s not the way I would have liked to end the season given the results that we have had previously. We have arrived at a circuit where you are in the corner for a long time which is an area on the bike that we need to work on. So, overall a very disappointing weekend to end 2019. On a whole with the new project to finish eight in the championship is relatively good considering there is six factory bikes from different manufacturers with a lot more experience. On a whole we have had some very strong showings, we have shown the potential of the BMW S 1000 RR and the relationship with the new team has worked well. Going into the winter I would like to think that the information the team gathered can be put into development and ultimately a better starting point for next season.”
“We did adjust the bike a little for the warm-up and the session went really well for me. I was in third place for a long time and finished the session in fourth place. That felt fantastic. However, the first turn in both races put paid to my hopes a bit, although I had started well both times. In the main race, I got trapped between two riders on turn one. I had to take evasive action, which forced me to go wide and cost me a few places. After that, it was a pretty lonely race for me until the finish, but I did manage to overtake three riders and score some points in the end. At least I did have some renewed impetus on my final weekend with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team, which helps me to feel a bit better before the break. We had a great time and I would like to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity. I wish the project every success and I hope to be able to contribute something to it again in the future.”
More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing Team:
The courtain comes down on the 2019 WorldSBK season
Losail (QAT), 26 October 2019. With the two races on Saturday evening at the Losail International Circuit, Qatar, the curtain comes down on the 2019 season of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Michael Rinaldi ended with a retirement in the Superpole Race and a fifteenth place in Race 2.
The Barni Racing Team rider concluded the Championship thirteenth in the overall standings with 122 points, sixth among the independent riders.
The 10 laps sprint race ended prematurely for Rinaldi. Starting from the fifth row, the Italian rider was fifteenth at the end of the second lap when he finished on the gravel at turn 1 due to a problem on the brakes. Rinaldi managed to get back on track but decided to go back to the pits.
The result of the Superpole Race forced Rinaldi to move back one position on the grid in race 2. Sixteenth at the start, the rider from Romagna got off well from his spot at the red lights off and he placed himself immediately behind the Top 10. Fighting throughout the race in a group, already in the early stage he had to give way to Laverty and Baz.
Thirteenth on lap seven, the Barni Racing Team rider had to struggle once again with a brakes issue that forced him to give up his position to Torres and Reiterberger. Rinaldi crossed the finish line in fifteenth position.
Marco Barnabo, Team Principal:
“We would have liked to end a difficult season with a good result, unfortunately it doesn’t happened. This year a great change came with the arrival of the brand-new Panigale V4 R, a bike that give us immediately great satisfaction in the Italian Championship, unfortunately not so much in Superbike. I want to thank all our partners, the team guys for what they have done and Michael, I wish he can continue his career as expected.”
Superpole Race: DNF – Race 2: P15
“Unfortunately in both race of today I had problems with the brakes and this not allowed me to close the season as I wanted. It has been a complicated season, but I still want to thank the team for the hard work and support this year.”
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Lowes Wins Championship Podium Fight in Qatar
Alex Lowes concluded the 2019 season and his four years as a Yamaha WorldSBK rider by adding to his podium tally on the final day of WorldSBK racing this year. The 29-year-old Briton claimed his second podium finish of the weekend with third place in the Superpole Sprint Race, backing that up with a hard-fought fourth place in WorldSBK Race 2 to win the battle for third place in the overall championship standings.
Lowes arrived at the final round with a slender one-point lead over his Pata Yamaha with Rizla WorldSBK teammate, Michael van der Mark, in the championship standings. Despite intense pressure from van der Mark and Kawasaki’s Toprak Razgatlioglu, Lowes kept his cool and departs Qatar this evening with third place in the FIM Superbike World Championship, achieving the top-3 goal he’d set himself at the start of his 2019 campaign.
After a difficult weekend in Qatar, van der Mark’s sixth place in the Superpole Race and a particularly hard-fought seventh place in Race 2 were enough to ensure that the Dutch rider, who celebrated his 27th birthday today, finished fourth in the championship standings, just 14 points behind his Pata Yamaha teammate.
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Sandro Cortese, enjoyed a strong finish to his rookie WorldSBK season. The German rider bounced back from a crash in yesterday’s Race 1 to pick up two top-ten finishes today. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to reclaim 11th place in the championship standings from Jordi Torres, who retained an advantage of just one single point.
WorldSBK Race 2 in Qatar marked the final appearance for Marco Melandri who, after a career that has spanned three decades and is unmatched by any rider on the current WorldSBK grid, finally hung up his leathers and retired from racing this evening. Having been pushed wide twice during the race and losing places as a result, Melandri decided to enjoy his last racing laps before heading home to start the next chapter in what has already been a remarkable life.
Loris Baz rode an excellent WorldSBK Race 2 this evening. The Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider got pushed wide on the entry to Turn 1 at the start, ran off track and then rejoined in last position. Over the course of the 17-lap race Baz fought his way through the field to latch onto the back of the group battling for fifth place, which included van der Mark. The Frenchman eventually finished in eighth position in the race and 10th in the championship, an incredible achievement given that he missed the first 15 races of the season.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – Final Championship Position 3rd – 341 Points
“It was good to end the season with a strong weekend here in Qatar but, apart from one bad weekend in Jerez and the crash while leading in Misano, I’ve been up there in the top-six and really strong in every race. The target this year was to finish top-three in the championship; obviously everyone wants to be world champion, but you’ve got to improve on what you did the year before, keep learning, keep moving forward and this year was a good step forward for me. It’s a bittersweet end to the season because I’m leaving a team that has such a great atmosphere, with whom I get on really well and in which I feel a part of the family. It’s strange to be leaving both Crescent and Yamaha, we’ll all face new challenges next season, but tonight I’m going to enjoy it, together with the guys who’ve worked so hard for me and helped me achieve my goal this season.”
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – Final Championship Position 4th – 327 Points
“We made some changes to the set up ahead of Race 2 this evening and I felt a lot better at the beginning compared to the Superpole race in the afternoon. Unfortunately, once the tyres started to drop off then I struggled like before. I tried everything to stay in front of Alex, but it just wasn’t possible because I was struggling with the grip so much. Anyway, I think if we look back on this season we should be satisfied. The Misano injury put us on the back foot, missing that whole event and then riding injured at the following two rounds, but we never gave up and we never stopped trying. To finish fourth in the championship isn’t what we were looking for but, given the obstacles we’ve faced this season, it’s still pretty incredible. Big credit to the team and to Yamaha, unfortunately this wasn’t our weekend but I’m confident we’ll be back stronger next year.”
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – Final Championship Position 9th – 177 Points
“To be honest, I was hoping to bow out today with a different result. The Superpole Race wasn’t too bad, it was always going to be difficult from the sixth row of the grid, but it was certainly the most enjoyable race of the weekend. Race 2 was very difficult; I got a bad start, got pushed out of the track when someone made a mistake in front of me and then struggled a lot when I rejoined. When Rinaldi passed me, he pushed me out at Turn 1 and my race was done. From that moment it was like the last stage of the Tour de France, just riding my bike for fun. This weekend it’s been nice to have so many people come up to me to say hello and congratulations to me. This makes me prouder than many races.”
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – Final Championship Position P12 – 134 Points
“In the Superpole Race I felt much more comfortable with the bike, but Race 2 was tough. I struggled a lot at the end with the front tyre, losing it almost every time. After the crash yesterday I tried to go as much as I could on the limit, but I didn’t want to finish my last race with GRT Yamaha with a crash so the top-ten was the best we could do today. At the end I was still pretty close to the two Pata Yamaha riders, which is a positive. When you start from third on the grid everyone expects great things, but I’ve had to learn and understand a lot of things this season, such as how to maintain my pace over the full race distance and not just the first five or six laps. Overall, I feel that I’ve had a good rookie season. Big thanks to Yamaha and to the GRT Yamaha team for making this possible this year. I will miss everyone in the team next season.”
Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – Final Championship Position P10 – 138 Points
“I got into a bit of a mess with Leon Haslam and lost a lot of time running off track at Turn 1, but it all stems from the same problem we’ve had all year, in that I struggle to get the bike off the line. It’s definitely something we need to focus on improving ahead of next season. I rejoined in last place, but my feeling with the bike was better than yesterday and I knew I could conserve my tyres better than most of the riders ahead of me. I pushed on, trying not to lose too much time overtaking the guys, which meant a couple of hard moves, but I eventually managed to come back to the battle for fourth place. It was really hard to overtake Eugene Laverty because he also had good pace and was very quick on the straight. But in the end it was cool; we finished again with the factory guys, closer to the winner than yesterday despite the off-track excursion, which was enough to secure me 10th in the championship, despite missing the first 15 races because we only made our debut in Jerez. We came here wanting more, but I think we can be satisfied with what we’ve achieved this season.”
Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager
“It’s been a long but successful WorldSBK season for Yamaha, our teams and our riders, but we can be satisfied with what we’ve achieved this year. Alex did a very focused and consistent job to finish third in the championship standings, despite intense pressure from both Michael and Toprak Razgatlioglu in the second half of the season. Having the two Pata Yamaha riders finish third and fourth is already an improvement on last year, but the fact that we have two other Yamaha R1s in the top-ten, with Marco ninth and Loris tenth, shows that our package is competitive for everyone, not just the reference team. I’d like to thank the teams, the riders and the Yamaha technical staff for their commitment and dedication this season and I am confident that, with their continued support and the new 2020 R1, we can come back even stronger for next season. All that remains to be said is to thank Alex, Marco and Sandro and to wish them every success for their futures.”
More, from a press release issued by Team Go-Eleven:
ROMANTIC SEASON FINALE; EUGENE SIXTH AT CHECKERED FLAG!
Finishing the season with a race like that was what we wanted!
A great sixth place, with an almost perfect performance, all comeback due to a contact during the first lap. The Ducati V4-R by Go Eleven and Eugene seemed to really fly in the night of Losail!
On Saturday it opens with a Warm Up on hot asphalt at 2.00 pm; a different off-set solution does not give the desired result and the bike appears immediately difficult to ride.
When the new solution doesn’t work, you know it’s the wrong way, so you go to the opposite side and bet on the Superpole Race!
Warm Up: P 14 1’59.450 + 1.730
In Superpole Race the technicians study a new steering angle position, change both off set and trail.
Laverty starts well, feels immediately at ease on the seat and starts to perform in some good overtaking. In just 10 laps he is forced to aim for the top 9 to be able to start in the first three rows.
The Irish ace passes Rinaldi, then Mercado and Sykes in one shot, then he strongly defends the position on Marco Melandri and manages to finish in ninth place.
A point brought home and, even more important, third row earned on the starting grid for Race 2!
P 1 J. Rea 19’41.833
P 2 A. Bautista + 2.027
P 3 A. Lowes + 5.143
P 9 E. Laverty + 15.236
Race 2 starts with Eugene Laverty determined to do well, greeting the fans of Borgo Panigale and the whole Go Eleven Team with a performance to remember.
The start at the green light is quite good but in the excited early stages he loses some positions, both at the first corner but above all at turn 5, where a contact with Rinaldi pushed him off the track and falls back to fourteenth.
The Irishman remains lucid, he regains concentration and launches himself with great hunger and healthy sportsmanship in pursuit of his opponents.
Lap after lap, he overtakes slower riders and sets off in pursuit of Razgatlioglu: with an impressive race pace he regains tenth on tenth and in the last two laps he manages to pick up the small group fighting for fifth position.
A last phenomenal lap, two great overtakings on the official riders Haslam and Van Der Mark, project the Team form Piedmont in sixth position.
A great result that repays the team of work done in the 2019 season!
P 1 J. Rea 33’34.809
P 2 C. Davies + 2.978
P 3 A. Bautista + 3.100
P 6 E. Laverty + 15.109
As the lights go out on the Qatar track, the curtain falls on the WorldSBK season; like every year, with the motorcycle off, competitiveness leaves room for a faint feeling of melancholy. The riders greet their bikes, their teams and every single person who has been close to them on this journey, some towards new colors, some looking for confirmations and some ready for the first 2020 tests.
From this land of the Arab world, the Go Eleven Team thanks all those who participated, who experienced the mixed emotions in the 9 months of competitions around the world: from the team to the sponsors, from hospitality to fans.
Eugene, next year you will be on track with a new manufacturer, but your team congratulates you on all the moments we lived together and for believing in our project from the beginning; with you Go Eleven has been able to smell the podium closely and has managed to win a Top Independent Rider. Thanks for everything and good luck for the season to come!
“Another season has come, and after tonight’s race it remains a big regret; what could we have done if Eugene hadn’t been injured at Imola? With if and with but we don’t make history, but surely we could have enjoyed all year round, at least as much as we enjoyed this evening seeing him riding a race like this.
“The team worked well and was able to find a solution that would allow Laverty to ride strong, after the contact on the first lap we made a great comeback, Eugene made us stay with our heart in our throat until the last corner! At the pits we could smell the victory as an Independent Team, but the exchange of positions with Haslam and Van Der Mark at the end made us lose those decisive seven tenths. I thank Eugene for the great season finale and the whole Go Eleven team that has always given his best for the entire 2019 season!
A special thanks goes to Ducati, who made this challenge possible and made us grow sportingly.”
“To finish in sixth positions in the last race of the year and equal our best result it’s a fantastic season finale!
“We have always been coming strong at the end of the races; we saw that in Argentina and again this weekend, so maybe with a couple of laps more we could fight for P 4. We showed that we have the pace.
“Disappointing what happened in lap one when Michael Rinaldi overtook me and pushed me out of the track back to fourteen position; that hurt our race but it’s racing.
“I never gave up until the checkered flag and we had a good result.
“Thank you very much to Team Go Eleven powered by Ducati!
“I would like to gift them with the best result of the season, we missed this by one position, but most important was the right way in Argentina and continue this pace here in Qatar.
Thank you to entire Team for never give up and we got there again!”
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Rea Ends 2019 With Perfect Final Day
Five-time WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea added to his Race One win on Friday with both race wins today at the Losail International Circuit, ending a remarkable season with 17 victories in all and a points total well into the 600s. His KRT team-mate Leon Haslam battled with his characteristic determination and finished the Tissot-Superpole Race in fourth place; in the final race of the year he was ninth.
In the last round of a truly memorable season Jonathan Rea took his run of career race wins to 88, by securing all three race victories under the floodlights in Qatar, even though scoring his first win of the year took until round five, at Imola.
In the short Tissot-Superpole sprint race Rea led every lap and beat Alvaro Bautista by 2.027 seconds. In the 17-lap season finale he had pressure from two Ducati riders behind him but used his strong overall race package to push on in the final laps and take a winning margin of almost three seconds.
Rea’s historic fifth successive championship win was thus ended in a perfect way, especially after Rea started from pole position each time and Kawasaki won the Manufacturers’ Championship after Race One. He ended his year – which featured three races per weekend for the first time in WorldSBK – with 663 championship points, 165 more than his closest competitor.
Haslam had one positive and one tough experience on his final day in the KRT set-up, riding with skill and focus to come within 0.160 of a second of a podium finish in the ten lap sprint race.
Race Two had Haslam in the middle of the fight for the final podium place for a time, but after half race distance his front end grip dropped and he had to settle for ninth place. He ended his season seventh overall, with 281 points.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Seventeen race wins this year and two triples – Donington and here – so this is special, super-special. I am really happy and content because to be honest we never expected to get beaten so bad in the beginning. Even in the middle of the season we knew we needed to enter these last two rounds with a gap in the championship to fight for it, but what we expected we didn’t find. I am really happy with the package of our bike because in these last two races, with the longest straights in the championship, and the fastest circuits, we have proved that you need more than a fast engine to win. I am super-proud of all my team. This weekend we changed the base set-up so many times, from Race One to Superpole to Race Two; you would not believe me is I told you what we did. We turned the bike upside down and each and every time we had some positives and negatives, so it just shows our bike is working inside a good window.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “We struggled halfway through the final race because I lost my front traction and struggled to get it to stop and I kept losing the front, not off gas but just as I tapped the gas on. To be honest after that it felt like I was tiptoeing around the corners and when it came to a fight I had nothing to fight with, even through I was there. The season has had its ups and down and I have had a fundamental problem of trying to adapt my style to what is needed on this bike. Getting the bike stopped and battling has been one of the things I have struggled with and normally that is one of my strengths. But I have had some positive races, good battles in Australia, Misano and Aragon with Johnny. To win Suzuka this year has been fantastic. I had three good battles in the last three races of the year.”
Top Independent Rider in 2019, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing), helped his team to the Top Independent Teams’ title today, despite a technical issue preventing him from making it to the start of the Tissot-Superpole race. He battled strongly in the final race of the year and finished up fifth in the race and the final championship standings, with 315 points.
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 14th in the Tissot-Superpole race and 13th in the final full distance race of 2019. He ended his season in 11th place overall.
Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) finished his season with an 11th spot in the sprint race and repeated that in the in the 17-lap finale. He was beaten for 15th place in the championship by one point on the final day.
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
World Superbike in Qatar: Aruba.it Racing – Ducati end the season with a double podium in Race 2 for Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista after a three-way battle with winner Rea
The 2019 season for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team concluded at the Losail circuit in Qatar with a terrific three-way battle that involved both riders of the Italian team, Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista, who tried everything they could to get the better of the 2019 champion, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki).
After a great start, Bautista immediately slotted right in behind Rea and even took the lead on lap 8 with his Panigale V4 R. Towards mid-race however the Spanish rider suffered excessive rear tyre drop and he started to lose ground. Chaz Davies, following a bad start, recovered several positions and then caught and passed his team-mate to take the chequered flag in second place.
The Qatar Round thus brings an end to the debut season in World Superbike for the new Panigale V4 R which accumulated a total of 17 wins in 37 races, 16 of which with Bautista and one Davies. The Spaniard finished the championship as runner-up with 498 points, while Davies placed sixth with 294 points.
The Italian squad will next be out on track at Aragon (Spain) on 13th and 14th November for the first test with newly-signed Scott Redding, together with Chaz Davies, and will then return to the track again at Jerez (Spain) on 28th and 29th of the same month.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #7) – 5th / 2nd
“It’s been a strong end to the season for me and I’m really happy to finish on the podium again. I felt like I put together another good race this evening after a bad start, but it was good fun to battle with the others in the early laps. I got into a good pace and started charging towards the guys up front. After I passed Álvaro, it was quite easy to follow Johnny but then when I pushed a bit more, I was in trouble with the front tyre. All in all, it was a good finish to 2019 and I can’t wait for 2020 to start”.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 2nd / 3rd
“Today was a positive day, because after the warm-up and before the Superpole race, we returned to the set-up we had on Friday. I immediately had a good feeling and the second place was important for the starting-grid in race 2. In the early stages I battled with Jonathan but unfortunately, about half-way through the race, I began to lose grip at the rear and I was struggling to stop the bike. In the end I couldn’t do anything about Chaz, but all things considered I’m happy, it’s always nice to finish the season on the podium. I’d like to thank Aruba and all the Ducati squad for doing a fantastic job this year. Unfortunately, the season didn’t go the way we hoped, but I’m very pleased to have begun my first year in Superbike with this team because they have so much experience in this championship and they helped me a lot. Thanks to everyone, I wish you all the best for next year.”