Jonathan Rea defended his World Superbike title by finishing Race 1 at Qatar in second place behind Chaz Davies, who took his fifth straight win.
Starting from pole, Kawasaki rider Rea had a better getaway than fellow front row starters Nicky Hayden and Davies, but the latter managed to pass the champion-elect at Turn 1 regardless.
The duo quickly pulled away from the rest led, by Hayden's Honda and Tom Sykes on the second Kawasaki.
Sykes, who needed a win and Rea not to score more than one point to stay in contention for the title, was soon overtaken by Sylvain Guintoli.
Rea continued to closely follow Davies for much of the distance before ground in the latter stages, allowing the Ducati rider to take his 10th win of the season and his fifth in succession.
Guintoli also passed Hayden to score Yamaha's first podium of the season, with the latter also being overtaken by Sykes on the last lap.
Hayden was followed Spaniards Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW) and the second Yamaha bike of Alex Lowes.
Michael van der Mark (Honda) recovered from a poor start to take ninth ahead of Lorenzo Savadori (Ioda Aprilia).
Former WSBK regular Leon Haslam, who makes his first and only appearance of the 2016 season this weekend for Pedercini Kawasaki, finished 11th.
Rea became the first back-to-back WSBK champion since Carl Fogarty defended his title in 1999.
Race 1 results
|9||Michael van der Mark||Honda||+20.882|
|12||Raffaele De Rosa||BMW||+34.420|
|13||Alex de Angelis||Aprilia||+34.936|
|17||Saeed Al Sulaiti||Kawasaki||+69.075|
|18||Leon Camier||MV Agusta||+79.301|
|21||Gianluca Vizziello||Kawasaki||4 laps|
|Karel Abraham||BMW||6 laps|
|Davide Giugliano||Ducati||7 laps|
|Markus Reiterberger||BMW||10 laps|