The 2017 World Superbike season draws to a close this weekend under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. With the championship sewn up by Jonathan Rea two rounds ago, all eyes will be on the battle for second place overall which, as it was last year, is between Rea’s Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes and Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
Last year it was Sykes who prevailed, though not without the assistance of his team-mate. With Davies leading the final race of the season and Sykes in third behind Rea, it was Davies who was heading for the runner-up spot in the championship. Rea, however, slowed to allow Sykes through, meaning the Yorkshireman finished just two points ahead of Davies in the final standings.
But it could be a different story this year, with Rea going on record as saying he won’t help his team-mate this time around.
Should Davies and Sykes score the same points over the two races at Losail, Davies will secure second place in the championship by virtue of having taken the most race wins over the season, seven versus two over the 2017 season.
Whetever the outcome, the season’s top three is determined, with Marco Melandri on the second Ducati currently 62 points adrift of Davies and Sykes. Melandri, however, is guaranteed fourth in his first season back in World Superbikes since 2014, having a 75-point advantage over Alex Lowes in fourth.