The first European race of the season was cold and windy, with the pole-sitter dropped down one row for an infraction during Superpole.
Jonathan Rea inherited pole position after Alvaro Bautista's penalty, with Rea heading the row alongside Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alex Lowes. Bautista's fourth place moved him to the second row with Scott Redding and Andrea Locatelli.
Rea got the hole shot and led Razgatlioglu and Bautista into turn one. Lowes tried to pass Bautista back as Redding and Locatelli duelled behind him. Lowes took third place in the last chicane but Bautista took the place back down the straight into turn one.
The leading six riders were covered by a second and a half at the end of lap two as Bautista set a fastest lap of 1'34.368 in third place. As is usual, the leading trip of Rea, Razgatlioglu and Bautista broke free from the three-way fight over fourth place as Axel Bassani closed up to make it a four-way fight. Lowes struggled to keep the pace with the leading trio and the second group was over a second and a half off the leaders by lap five while Bassani took sixth place from Locatelli. Michael Ruben Rinaldi pushed a decisive pass on Xavi Vierge that pushed Vierge off the racing line and cost him several places. His teammate Iker Lecuona crashed out into turn one as Alvaro Bautista took second place from Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Bautista lapped three tenths of a second quicker than Rea and the gap between them was under a quarter of a second on lap seven. Razgatlioglu stuck with the leading pair and the top trio were covered by a third of a second on lap seven.
Michael van der Mark clawed his way past Michael Ruben Rinaldi to take twelfth place in front of his home crowd, behind Xavi Vierge and Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding took fourth place from Alex Lowes.
Alvaro Bautista tried a couple of passing attempts on Jonathan Rea and made it stick into turn seven of lap nine. Rea and Razgatlioglu held onto Bautista as Axel Bassani took fourth place off Scott Redding after Redding ran wide.
At half race distance, eleven laps of twenty one completed, Alvaro Bautista and Jonathan Rea broke free of Toprak Razgatlioglu who was two thirds of a second off Rea but over four seconds clear of Axel Bassani and Scott Redding's fight. A lap later and Razgatlioglu was a second off Rea who set a personal best lap while trying to keep up with Bautista.
Tom Sykes ended his race in the pit box once again after a technical issue. Lap fourteen, Bautista's half second lead over Rea dropped to a third of a second by lap fifteen with Razgatlioglu two seconds behind, settling for third place five seconds clear of Bassani.
Lap fifteen, Bautista was three tenths of a second quicker than Rea with Bautista the only rider in the 1'34s and by the end of lap sixteen, he led Rea by a over second as tyre degradation started to dictate the pace. Bautista increased his pace as Rea dropped his and the podium places were decided with five laps to go.
Axel Bassani and Andrea Locatelli continued to scrap over fourth place, over five seconds off the podium and over a second behind them, Alex Lowes took sixth place from Scott Redding, seventh place still BMW's best result of the year, but Dominique Aegerter turned up on his tail and looked like he wanted a BMW scalp, lapping a second a lap quicker than Redding. Aegerter took seventh in the last sector. Redding would end the race in tenth place.
In the last two laps, Locatelli and Bassani fought over fourth place, with Locatelli consolidating his third place in the championship into turn five a lap before the flag came out, lifting Bassani's Ducati off the apex and forcing his way through.
Alvaro Bautista took his sixth win of the year, sharing the podium with Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu who closed on Rea in the last couple of laps. Bautista's tyres just lasted a little longer than those of his rivals, allowing him to escape with a quarter of the race remaining, but the familiar podium trio remains.
Bautista's win increased his championship lead to forty six points over Toprak Razgatlioglu with Andrea Locatelli's fourth place keeping him in third place, eight points behind Razgatlioglu and nineteen points ahead of Rea. Axel Bassani was top independent in fifth place.
|1||1||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4R|
|2||65||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||3.148|
|3||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Yamaha YZF R1||0.743|
|4||55||A. LOCATELLI||Yamaha YZF R1||6.214|
|5||47||A. BASSANI||Ducati Panigale V4R||10.498|
|6||77||D. AEGERTER||Yamaha YZF R1||13.952|
|7||22||A. LOWES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||14.098|
|8||87||R. GARDNER||Yamaha YZF R1||16.942|
|9||9||D. PETRUCCI||Ducati Panigale V4R||17.807|
|10||45||S. REDDING||BMW M1000 RR||18.066|
|11||97||X. VIERGE||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||22.002|
|12||31||G. GERLOFF||BMW M1000 RR||23.632|
|13||60||M. VAN DER MARK||BMW M1000 RR||23.819|
|14||5||P. OETTL||Ducati Panigale V4R||25.088|
|15||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4R||1.715|
|16||34||L. BALDASSARRI||Yamaha YZF R1||34.593|
|17||76||L. BAZ||BMW M1000 RR||34.719|
|18||28||B. RAY||Yamaha YZF R1||47.346|
|19||35||H. SYAHRIN||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||50.486|
|20||52||O. KONIG||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||52.310|
|21||51||E. GRANADO||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||1'00.902|
|22||16||G. RUIU||BMW M1000 RR||1'01.202|
|23||32||I. VINALES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'14.042|
|RET||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||10 Laps|
|RET||7||I. LECUONA||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||16 Laps|