The Superbike 2017 season comes to an end in Qatar

 
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After 12 races on 4 continents, the world Superbike championship landed in Qatar for the evocative final race, held at night.

The top spot has already been clinched, but the platonic title of vice champion is still open, and once again Davies and Sykes find themselves battling for the position. Both have 363 points and the two British riders have plenty of motivation to defeat the other.

Chaz is coming off a bittersweet weekend in Jerez where he earned two podiums, but where the setbacks of Friday eliminated his chances for absolute success. Chaz's generosity is well known, and the rider from Knighton will battle to the end to take his Panigale R to second place, just like in 2015. Marco Melandri on the other hand arrives in Qatar having locked up fourth place and with the only goal of trying to get back what misfortune took away from him in Jerez. Marco continues to develop the synergy with his Ducati, and next year - building on this year's experience - he will be a contender for the title. A few words also for Xavi Forés, who had a good season that sees him in sixth position, with fifth place still theoretically within reach. The Spaniard has alternated good races with less brilliant moments, and perhaps what he was missing this year was precisely a continuity of results. He also will have a chance to close out the season in the best way possible perhaps by sneaking into the top five, having already improved on last year's results.

Racing at night in the middle of the desert is a rather unusual setting for motorcycles, but for more than a decade Qatar has been hosting the MotoGP and Superbike championships, first with daytime races, then at night, having organised in 2007 the world's first race with artificial light for motorcycles without their own lighting systems. Beyond the setting, the track is very fast and technical and has one of the world's longest straights. In addition, the sequence of three right corners in curves 12, 13 and 14 requires real skill, the riders maintaining speeds as high as 200 km/h.

This edition of the final round will introduce a different racing schedule: besides the unusual hours of the races, the event will have an early start on Thursday with free practice, followed by qualifying practice and race 1 on Friday, while warm-up and race 2 are scheduled for Saturday

Weekend schedule (local times)
Thursday
Time Session
17.45 - 19.45 FP1
19.00 - 20.00 FP2
Friday
Time Session
16.20 - 16.45 FP3
18.30 - 18.45 SuperPole1
18.55 - 19.10 Superpole2
21.00 Race1
Saturday
Time Session
17.30 - 17.45 WarmUp
21.00 Race2

All Ducatisti can follow the live updates from the track and post comments on the races with us on Twitter and on our official Facebook and Instagram: don't forget to use the hashtag #forzaducati and read all the news and updated results in the Racing Ducati section.