The last race of the weekend was held in "wear a jumper" weather, at 11ºC with a damp track, with decisions to be made over tyres. Only two riders sat on the grid with slick tyres, a third opting to start from the pits to join them.
Scott Redding and Jonas Folger had slick tyres fitted, Redding informing his team of his decision on his run through the pits before his second sighting lap. His teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi opted to join Redding, pitting in and starting from the pitlane.
Jonathan Rea took the lead from pole position with Garrett Gerloff behind him. Alex Lowes pushed Gerloff down to third place at turn four, with Chaz Davies, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Michael Van der Mark and Scott Redding rounding out the top seven. Davies got bitten by the treacherous conditions and slid his Ducati into the gravel halfway round the lap, recovering in last place.
The leading five set off, leaving Redding to deal with Alvaro Bautista as they escaped. Garrett Gerloff set the fastest lap on lap two as he passed Lowes and started to hound Rea for the lead, but Gerloff tried to make a pass that wasn't there and bashed into Rea at the entry to a chicane, sending the pair towards the gravel.
Jonathan Rea's motocross brain took over and he hit the gravel under power with his weight over the rear of his Kawasaki and he launched himself back onto the track, sacrificing two places so he couldn't be ruled as taking an advantage, returning to the race in third place, behind Alex Lowes and Toprak Razgatlioglu. Garrett Gerloff had to puck up his scarred bike and worked his way back to thirteenth place before being handed a long lap penalty for his impetuous action.
Michael Van der Mark took advantage of the chaos to pass Rea for third place and the leading group was joined by Scott Redding, setting the fastest lap as his tyres came to him.
On lap five, Razgatlioglu led Lowes, van der Mark, Rea and Redding in a tight bunch. Down the long back straight, Redding powered out of turn fifteen and took fourth place as Van der Mark slipped up into second. Further back, Tom Sykes set the fastest lap. Lap six opened with Michael Van der Mark taking the lead into turn one as Redding climbed through the field behind him, taking second place at turn eleven, past two Lowes and Razgatlioglu, and took the lead down the straight.
Scott Redding then spent the next two laps setting fastest laps and breaking over three seconds free from van der Mark in second place. Behind Van der Mark, the two Kawasakis of Lowes and Rea fought with Razgatlioglu for third place, both riders passing him as he slid both tyres around turn twelve. Rea passed Lowes for third at the end of the straight and Tom Sykes joined the group, putting a BMW at both ends of the group of five riders fighting for second.
On lap ten, with Scott Redding over five seconds clear in the lead, Michael van der Mark did his best to hold up the Kawasakis behind him, Jonathan Rea overcooking his entry into the last corners at the end of the straight, but on lap sixteen, Rea briefly held second place before being beaten on the brakes by van der Mark. Rea finally made a pass stick on lap thirteen of eighteen, passing the BMW on turn twelve with a move that took two turns to set up, taking second place ten seconds behind Scott Redding. Tom Sykes beat Toprak Razgatlioglu and the Yamaha rider dropped off the pack.
Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Tom Sykes all entered turn one of lap fifteen three abreast, with Lowes coming out ahead, in the prime position to see Rea over a second clear and escaping, albeit ten seconds behind Scott Redding. Tom Sykes eventually made a turn one pass work on his teammate and he settled into fourth place as the laps ticked off.
With the places settled, the leading six riders all held their stations through the last two laps, but as Jonas Folger and Garrett Gerloff caught up with Toprak Razgatlioglu, closing over a second of gap on the last lap, sixth place suddenly didn't seem as safe, but Razgatlioglu held off Gerloff and Folger over the line.
Scott Redding took his first race win of the year, gambling on slick tyres, ten seconds ahead of Jonathan Rea who, after passing Redding on the slow-down lap, made a "big balls" gesture to the winner, congratulating Redding for his bravery. Alex Lowes took third place to maintain his second place in the championship.
When they got back to parc fermé, Garrett Gerloff sought out Jonathan Rea and apologised for his frankly daft overtake. Rea seemed to accept his pleading as it didn't affect his race.
Jonathan Rea leaves the weekend of racing with a healthy title lead of twelve points over his teammate Alex Lowes. Scott Redding recovered from what could have been an opening disaster in third place, five points behind Lowes and only seventeen off Rea. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Tom Sykes and Garrett Gerloff round out the top six.
The Kawasaki riders of Rea and Lowes put their team at the top, and Redding and Razgatlioglu did their teams proud, but the surprise showing was the BMW, which seemed to perform very well in tricky conditions, promising hope for its development this year.
|1||45||S. REDDING||Ducati Panigale V4 R|
|2||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||9.856|
|3||22||A. LOWES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||10.434|
|4||66||T. SYKES||BMW M 1000 RR||12.094|
|5||60||M. VAN DER MARK||BMW M 1000 RR||16.234|
|6||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Yamaha YZF R1||3.957|
|7||31||G. GERLOFF||Yamaha YZF R1||20.427|
|8||94||J. FOLGER||BMW M 1000 RR||20.587|
|9||55||A. LOCATELLI||Yamaha YZF R1||4.439|
|10||44||L. MAHIAS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||28.855|
|11||19||A. BAUTISTA||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||35.644|
|12||3||K. NOZANE||Yamaha YZF R1||38.275|
|13||32||I. VINALES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||41.585|
|14||47||A. BASSANI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||44.922|
|15||23||C. PONSSON||Yamaha YZF R1||46.022|
|16||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||22.050|
|17||50||E. LAVERTY||BMW M 1000 RR||1'13.998|
|18||36||L. MERCADO||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||1'14.859|
|19||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1 Lap|
|20||84||L. CRESSON||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||2 Laps|
|21||76||S. CAVALIERI||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||3 Laps|
|RET||53||T. RABAT||Ducati Panigale V4 R||14|
|RET||91||L. HASLAM||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||14 Laps|