Lowes, starting from second place on the grid after an impressive qualifying performance this afternoon, was initially the only rider able to match the pace of pole sitter Rea. The pair managed to pull out a significant lead on the opening lap, which they'd extended to more than two seconds by half race distance. It was only as the race entered the final stages that Rea was able to create a small gap at the front, leaving Lowes to defend his position against Chaz Davies, who'd finally managed to close down the leading duo.
Davies made his move with four laps to go, diving up the inside of Lowes into the final turn and then using the power of the Ducati on the one kilometre long straight to build an unassailable gap. Third place in the race means that Lowes remains third in the championship standings but has extended his lead over fourth placed van der Mark from one to seven points, with Toprak Razgatlioglu a further ten points back in fifth.
Van der Mark was disappointed to finish only sixth in Qatar this evening, having struggled throughout the race with a lack of rear grip, especially on corner entry, most likely a consequence of the increased humidity. The Dutchman is confident he and his crew can find an improvement ahead of tomorrow's two races, which will bring to a close the 2019 WorldSBK season.
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK riders, Sandro Cortese and Marco Melandri, endured a difficult Race 1 in Qatar, but for different reasons. Cortese made the most of a front row start to run in third place for the first three laps. The reigning Supersport World Champion had just been demoted to fourth by Davies when he lost the front at Turn seven and crashed out of the race.
Melandri was hampered by having to start from the sixth row of the grid and was unable to make significant progress after getting involved in a race long battle with Eugene Laverty and Michael Rinaldi. The GRT Yamaha rider eventually managed to pass his compatriot to finish in 12th position.
Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Loris Baz, overcame the handicap of pain in his chest, a result of his crashes in Argentina, to finish as the top independent rider today, with the Frenchman riding a strong race to follow van der Mark across the line in seventh place.