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This is over. The Superbike World Championship It comes to an end this coming weekend with the thirteenth and last event of the season at the Qatari circuit of Losail. And be careful, because the races are brought forward one day and the schedules are strange again.
With the championship in the hands of Jonathan Rea and the runner-up in the hands of Álvaro Bautista, the only unknown will be to see how the fight for third place ends, since Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu are only 6 points apart.
Rea, Bautista and the Redding threat
What happened two weeks ago in Argentina was one of those weekends that will go down in memory as the 2018 British GP did, when a circuit in deplorable situations did not allow us to experience a WSBK event normally.
The accumulated dirt on the Argentine asphalt caused a very strong fall to Loris Baz and unleashed the criticism of all the pilots with a route in which leaving the clean zone implied an obvious risk for safety. The pilots looked for a closure in protest and finally what we found was an atypical grid in which Laverty, Davies, Melandri, Camier, Kiyonari and Cortese did not start.
Ultimately, the victories were shared by the favorites: Álvaro Baustista won the first race, while the Superpole Race and the second race fell to Jonathan Rea. These two drivers will predictably be entrusted to reign in Qatar in a few days when the Losail traffic light goes out.
After a tour of unfavorable circuits, Bautista and his Ducati will return to a track where the Panigale V4 R will be able to return to unfold your full potential. If we had to put an X in the pool, it would go over Bautista's. He knows the track, he knows the bike, the track is favorable and he wants to say goodbye to his current brand with victory.
But this is the same song from the last races. After the initial gale passed with Bautista sweeping 11 races in a row, Jonathan Rea showed why he has won the fifth consecutive WSBK crown. Bautista's confidence has been tempered by the regularity and impassive pace of a Rea to whom not even a MotoGP rider has been able to overshadow at the end of the year.
On the other hand, this weekend we have come across a notice for sailors. After going into exile and considering retirement after losing his seat in MotoGP, Scott redding He finished in the British Superbike Championship with the difficult mission of claiming himself as a fast rider. He has succeeded, and it has not been easy.
Redding took the BSB crown at the first trade. Enlisted within the Be Wiser Ducati team, the Briton has had a fantastic season on the Ducati Panigale V4 R. A motorcycle unknown to him, riding on unexplored circuits (not all) and with regulations where electronics is conspicuous by its absence.
The number 45 has won the favor of the Borgo Panigale firm on its own merits and, taking advantage of Álvaro Bautista's rout on the way to Honda, has seen the doors of the official Ducati team open wide at the WSBK. From 2020 Jonathan Rea and Álvaro Bautista will not be alone, since Redding is a pilot with a huge desire for victory and he knows himself capable of doing well on Superbikes.
At the moment we know that Rea will continue to be fast with Kawasaki next season (waiting to see if Akashi's men evolve the ZX-10RR) and that Redding will be predictably fast with the Panigale V4 R. The only factor that raises doubts (and many, by the way), is to know Honda's plans with the new CBR1000RR Fireblade and what Bautista will be capable of with it.
To follow the races this weekend at the Losail Circuit we will have to invest the afternoons of the weekend, at least in part. This last race of the year changes the scheme and will go from playing the races on Saturday and Sunday to go one day ahead: Friday and Saturday.
The action will start at 16:30 on Friday with the SBK Superpole to contest the first race at 19:00. On Saturday the highlight will come with the racing battery, starting with the Superpole Race at 15:00 and ending with the second SBK race at 19:00. We will have to wait until Sunday to take a nap.
SBK Qatar 2019 Schedules:
- Friday 25:
- Superpole SBK: 16:30 (Teledeporte, Eurosport)
- Superpole SBK delayed: 18:30 (Eurosport)
- First SBK race: 19:00 (Esport 3, Teledeporte, Eurosport)
- First SBK race delayed: 23:25 (Eurosport)
- Saturday 13:
- First SBK race delayed: 00:00 (Eurosport 2)
- First SBK race delayed: 09:00 (Eurosport 2)
- Deferred first SBK race: 12:00 (Eurosport 2)
- Superpole race: 15:00 (Esport 3, Teledeporte, Eurosport)
- Carrera SSP 300: 16:15 (Esport 3, Teledeporte)
- SSP career: 17:15 (Esport 3, Teledeporte, Eurosport)
- First delayed SBK race: 18:20 (Eurosport)
- Second SBK race: 19:00 (Esport 3, Teledeporte, Eurosport)
- First SBK race delayed: 22:30 (Eurosport)
- Second delayed SBK race: 23:05 (Eurosport)