Rea dominates Qatar Superpole on perfect afternoon
Jonathan Rea could not have wished for a more pleasant Saturday afternoon ride as he lead from start to finish in the Superpole sprint race.
Rea set a new lap record at the Losail International circuit in the process, getting the best start of anybody as Alvaro Bautista, the only many who has been able to lay a glove on the Northern Irishman this season, battled to stay within striking distance.
But the Spaniard, who started the weekend 154 points behind the five-time world champion, could not match the Kawasaki's blistering pace and had to settle for second ahead of the English pair of Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam.
It means Rea has not lost a race in Qatar since 2016, a streak that stretches back over five races.
"The gap to Alvaro was quite stable so I could just relax and enjoy the rest of the race.
"I have surpassed all my goals for this season and am very satisfied with that race win."
The victory also means Rea has now equalled Bautista in terms of overall wins this season and could claim that morale triumph later on Saturday when the final race of the season takes place in Qatar.