Lowes arrived at the final round with a slender one-point lead over his Pata Yamaha with Rizla WorldSBK teammate, Michael van der Mark, in the championship standings. Despite intense pressure from van der Mark and Kawasaki's Toprak Razgatlioglu, Lowes kept his cool and departs Qatar this evening with third place in the FIM Superbike World Championship, achieving the top-3 goal he'd set himself at the start of his 2019 campaign.
After a difficult weekend in Qatar, van der Mark's sixth place in the Superpole Race and a particularly hard-fought seventh place in Race 2 were enough to ensure that the Dutch rider, who celebrated his 27th birthday today, finished fourth in the championship standings, just 14 points behind his Pata Yamaha teammate.
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Sandro Cortese, enjoyed a strong finish to his rookie WorldSBK season. The German rider bounced back from a crash in yesterday's Race 1 to pick up two top-ten finishes today. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite enough to reclaim 11th place in the championship standings from Jordi Torres, who retained an advantage of just one single point.
WorldSBK Race 2 in Qatar marked the final appearance for Marco Melandri who, after a career that has spanned three decades and is unmatched by any rider on the current WorldSBK grid, finally hung up his leathers and retired from racing this evening. Having been pushed wide twice during the race and losing places as a result, Melandri decided to enjoy his last racing laps before heading home to start the next chapter in what has already been a remarkable life.
Loris Baz rode an excellent WorldSBK Race 2 this evening. The Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider got pushed wide on the entry to Turn 1 at the start, ran off track and then rejoined in last position. Over the course of the 17-lap race Baz fought his way through the field to latch onto the back of the group battling for fifth place, which included van der Mark. The Frenchman eventually finished in eighth position in the race and 10th in the championship, an incredible achievement given that he missed the first 15 races of the season.