As the riders lined up to start the first race of the weekend, Jonathan Rea cannot win the title this race, but Kawasaki can tie up the manufacturers title. Most riders took the safer B-compound tyre and only Nicky Hayden and Alex Lowes took the softer A-compound.
Jonathan Rea led into turn one ahead of Tom Sykes, Alex Lowes and the three-Ducati wide pack of Chaz Davies inside Davide Giugliano and Xavi Fores. Halfway round the first lap, Davies took third place off Lowes and Sykes passed Rea for the lead.
On the second lap, both Davide Giugliano and Xavi Fores crashed in identical-looking, but apparently unrelated, crashes, elevating Nicky Hayden to fifth place behind Lowes. Rea and Sykes swapped places in the battle for the lead, but as Sykes came out on top, Davies took advantage of their scrap and snatched second place from Rea. Nicky Hayden in fifth set the fastest lap.
A lap later, Hayden was in fourth place after he watched Alex Lowes, also on the A-compound tyres, slide out of the race at Pons corner. Tom Sykes then set the fastest lap, a lap that would stand until the end of the race giving Sykes six fastest laps to Davies's eight this season. At the end of the fourth lap, Chaz Davies passed Tom Sykes into the last corner and led both Kawasakis over the line.
And that was it.
Chaz Davies was able to maintain laps under 1'42 for the first half of the lap and, when he dropped into the 1'42s so too did Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea. The British front three kept increasing their gap from Nicky Hayden by a few tenths per lap while their own gaps wavered between two and four seconds.
Behind Nicky Hayden, Michael van der Mark took fifth place from Jordi Torres on the fifth lap and saw Hayden make the most of the softer tyres until lap ten when Hayden's pace dropped quicker than his teammate's and van der Mark was able eat into Hayden's near three tenths of a second gap a couple of tenths at a time. With three laps to go, the Dutchman was within seven tenths of his Honda teammate and was sharing his clean air.
As Chaz Davies took his eighth victory of the year, ahead of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, taking no risks and getting his first Jerez podium, Michael van der Mark closed in on Nicky Hayden but, in spite of getting a great exit on the last corner, could not pass Nicky Hayden and finished under four hundredths of a second off fourth place.
Kawasaki wrapped up the manufacturer's title, which is the sort of thing that happens when both your riders are fighting to determine the top two places in the championship, and both riders took Kawasaki flags to the podium, flanking Ducati's Chaz Davies.
The championship could be wrapped up tomorrow, but it would require Jonathan Rea to beat Tom Sykes by six points. Chaz Davies has kept himself in mathematical contention for the title, but it would pretty much require three victories from the Welshman and that neither Kawasaki scores another point for the remaining three races, an unlikely event on today's form.
While the race wasn't the most exciting we've seen, Chaz Davies's performance since the summer break has been consistent and remarkable. Ducati have found a way to get their bike to be good enough to let Davies win races and with a fast teammate turning up next year, Marco Melandri aiming for Max Biaggi's Dick Dastardly role in 2017, they will be aiming at taking Kawasaki's manufacturer's title off them.
|1||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R|
|2||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10R||3.290|
|3||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10R||7.151|
|4||69||N. HAYDEN||Honda CBR1000RR SP||13.212|
|5||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Honda CBR1000RR SP||13.251|
|6||50||S. GUINTOLI||Yamaha YZF R1||17.834|
|7||2||L. CAMIER||MV Agusta 1000 F4||20.911|
|8||81||J. TORRES||BMW S1000 RR||26.182|
|9||21||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||29.837|
|10||25||J. BROOKES||BMW S1000 RR||31.246|
|11||15||A. DE ANGELIS||Aprilia RSV4 RF||32.399|
|12||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10R||33.007|
|13||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||36.266|
|14||13||A. WEST||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'01.064|
|15||56||P. SEBESTYÉN||Yamaha YZF R1||1'07.941|
|16||4||G. VIZZIELLO||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'08.160|
|17||9||D. SCHMITTER||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'08.260|
|18||82||K. PESEK||Yamaha YZF R1||1'38.143|
|RET||94||M. LUSSIANA||BMW S1000 RR||14 Laps|
|RET||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||18 Laps|
|RET||12||X. FORÉS||Ducati Panigale R||19 Laps|
|RET||34||D. GIUGLIANO||Ducati Panigale R||19 Laps|
|RET||99||L. SCASSA||Ducati Panigale R|
|RET||11||S. AL SULAITI||Kawasaki ZX-10R|