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Jonathan Rea dominates in Qatar to claim 15th win of season

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea dominated from start to finish to win the penultimate race of the season in Qatar.

The Northern Irishman, who wrapped up his third successive world championship at the end of September, got away brilliantly from pole at the Losail International Circuit and was never headed in the 17-lap contest.

Rea (Kawasaki) crossed the finish line nearly five seconds clear of Chaz Davies (Ducati) with Italy's Marco Melandri (Ducati) completing the podium.

Having set a new outright circuit record lap earlier in the evening, Rea pushed his bike to the limit for the 15th win of a remarkable season.

Davies did his best to chase Rea down, but the Welshman had to settle for second in his bid to secure the runner-up spot in the 2017 championship.

Eugene Laverty finished two seconds down on Melandri in fourth, with his Aprilia team-mate Lorenzo Savadori completing the top five.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), Jordi Torres (BMW), Sylvain Guintoli (Kawasaki), Leon Camier (MV Agusta) and Roman Ramos (Kawasaki) rounded out the top 10.

In an eventful race, Xavi Fores (BARNI), Raffaele de Rosa (BMW), Alex Lowes (Yamaha) and Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) were forced to withdraw either through technical issues or crashes on the track.

The second race of the World Superbike Championship's Acerbis Qatar round will be held on Saturday night.

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