The annual WorldSBK visit to Qatar is a spectacular event, with the action taking place at night under the floodlights of the superb Losail International Circuit, around 30 km outside of Doha. Qatar has become the season-ending round in recent seasons, with titles often on the line as the riders do battle around the 5.4 km track.
The first WorldSBK round held in Qatar was in 2005, with Troy Corser winning Race 1 on the Suzuki GSXR1000 K5 and his teammate Yukio Kagayama emerging victorious from Race 2. Qatar stayed on the calendar until 2009, returning in 2014 and remaining on the schedule ever since.
Here are more interesting trivia to get you through the final round of the season.
14 – Ducati holds the record for most podium finishes – fourteen, their last two were the double win scored by Davies last year.
11 – There are 11 different winners out of 16 races held in Qatar so far. No one has won more than twice.
11 – Only one win hasn’t come from the top seven grid spots in Losail. Fonsi Nieto, taking his only WorldSBK win from 11th on the grid, in the second 2008 Race.
6 – Max Biaggi is the record holder for podium finishes at Losail – six, which were over the three weekends spanning from 2007 to 2009. Troy Corser and Tom Sykes follow at five, then Jonathan Rea at four.
7 – There are seven different pole sitters in the history of the Qatar race. The only rider who has started from pole twice is Troy Corser (2007-2008).
6 – Troy Corser has led no less than six races, winning two of them (2005 Race 1, 2006 Race 2).
5 – The most successful manufacturer at Losail is Suzuki, with five wins. Aprilia is just behind at four, with Ducati next up at three.
5 – No less than five riders are tied for the record number of wins (2): Troy Corser, James Toseland, Ben Spies, Sylvain Guintoli and Chaz Davies.
4 – Four riders have claimed their maiden win in Qatar: Yukio Kagayama (2005), double World Champion Max Biaggi (2007), Fonsi Nieto (2008) and Jordi Torres (2015).
4 – In the last four visits to the Losail circuit, both wins were by a single manufacturer: Yamaha in 2009 (Spies); Aprilia in 2014 (Guintoli) and 2015 (Torres, Haslam); Ducati in 2016 (Davies).
3 – Only Troy Corser (2005, 2007, 2008) and Max Biaggi (2007, 2008, 2009) have started from the front row three times here. Tom Sykes is in the position to reach them this year.
3 – Three riders were able to score a Losail double: Ben Spies in 2009; Sylvain Guintoli in 2014; Chaz Davies last year.
2 – Two manufacturers were able to win both races on the same weekend with two different riders: Suzuki in 2005 (Corser, Kagayama) and Aprilia in 2015 (Torres, Haslam).
2 – Only two wins out of 16 came from the pole spot in Qatar: the double recorded by Ben Spies in 2009.
2 – Regis Laconi (2005) and Davide Giugliano (2014) are the only riders coming from non-English speaking countries to have recorded pole here.
1 – The only reigning World Champion who won in Qatar was Troy Corser, eleven years ago.
0 – In the last three years, the polesitter has never won at Losail.
For more information about the annual WorldSBK in Qatar, visit their website at worldsbk.com.