The lights went out on the 2017 World Superbike season at Losail. A year that highlighted the qualities of Johnny Rea, the championship’s matador, to such an extent as to see him set a new points record. In Supersport Lucas Mahias lifted the title trophy but the Qatar lights were on Kenan Sofuoglu. His weekend served as a lesson to all those youngsters who dream of racing.
THE GOOD A demonstration of heart, character and courage. Hats off to Kenan Sofuoglu, a star of the Qatari weekend. Just 33 days after breaking his hip, the Turk was out on track and finished the race on the podium, something that will remain impressed on the fans’ minds. He may not have won the SSP title, but it little matters.
THE BAD Race2 turned into a real rodeo for Chaz Davies. His Ducati may have behaved like a crazy horse, but he was able to tame it, securing the title of vice-champion.
THE UGLY Tom Sykes was fighting for second place in the championship along with Chaz Davies, with both on the same number of points coming into this final round. A disappointing three days for the Kawasaki rider, just sixth in race 1 and unable to make up for that on Saturday.
THE DISAPPOINTMENT Since putting pen to paper with Honda, we ask ourselves where Leon Camier’s gone. The MV Agusta rider was once again ‘missing in action’ in the Qatari desert. We look forward to seeing him next year.
THE CONFIRMATION Whether you like it or not, there’s no denying Johnny Rea’s achievements. The Northern Irish rider dominated in the final round of 2017 – no change there – setting a new record for the number of points scored during a season, with 556. Beating Edwards’ previous record of 552.
THE ERROR Not one, but two. Race 1 couldn’t have gone any worse for Alex Lowes, who crashed while fighting for the podium. The Yamaha rider was able to make up for it somewhat on Saturday though, scoring a third place finish with the R1.
THE SURPRISE Hands up those who would have bet on seeing Sofuoglu back on track so soon after what happened at Magny-Cours, probably no-one, making it more than a bit of a surprise!
THE PASS It’s tough to select just one from among the many we witnessed. We would like to award the prize to Kenan Sofuoglu, for his pas on Federico Caricasulo.
THE INTERESTING FACT A Superbike race had never before taken place on a Friday. A decision that left many perplexed.
I TOLD YOU SO Alex Lowes was clear after his Misano point, going as far as to state: “Now it’s time to aim for the win”. He meant in 2018.