Jonathan Rea has notched up his 15th win of the season in the Qatar WSBK opener after battling Alex Lowes early on before keeping clear of a late charge from Ducati’s Chaz Davies, as Kawasaki seals the manufacturers’ title. Starting from pole, the reigning world champion enjoyed the perfect getaway in front of Lowes to dictate the pace as he and the Pata Yamaha bolted clear of the chasing pack. With Davies carving through the field from 12th place on the starting grid, having made it up to fifth place on the opening lap, the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider used the opening two-thirds of the race to catch up with Lowes before taking second place with a smart block pass at the final corner on Lap 12. But Rea duly responded to the attack from Davies to keep clear of the Welsh rider to charge to victory by 2.732 seconds at the flag. Rea said: “That was a massive target met. What a year – all the big awards. The Riders’ Championship, Superpole Award, Manufacturers’ Championship… That was the target coming here. I knew I had to finish in front of the Ducatis to win the Manufacturers’ Award today. I felt good from the start with the bike. I had such a good rhythm in Race One, it felt quite automatic, but I know I need to make a step for tomorrow because the pace could be faster with more rubber down. But that might help our situation with more rubber on the track. We just need to work in some areas on the front of the bike to finish the corner a bit better.” Rea’s win gave Kawasaki a 42-point advantage in the Manufacturers’ Standings, with only a maximum of 37 points left to play for on Saturday, in the Tissot-Superpole Race and Race Two.