World Superbike race one finally started on Sunday morning that wasn't as cold as Saturday's four-seasons-in-a-day weather, but it was still cold enough for riders to half-cover their radiators, silver-taping the centre line behind the front wheel.
Alvaro Bautista, one of the only riders able to use the qualifying tyre before yesterday's red flag, started on pole position and led Markus Reiterberger and Michael van der Mark into turn one. Jonathan Rea started in eighth place and had to thread a path through a very aggressive Toprak Razgatlioglu, Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam, catching the latter at the famous Geert Timmer chicane that leads to the start finish straight.
On lap two, Alvaro Bautista maintained his lead over Markus Reiterberger, showing his track knowledge in second place, and hometown hero Michael van der Mark. Jonathan Rea spent a bit more of his tyre to catch van der Mark and took a wider line around turns six and seven to get a hard run into turn eight, neatly slipping under van der Mark to take third place. Bautista set the fastest lap as Rea closed on Reiterberger.
Over the next few laps, Reiterberger lost a few tenths to Bautista but gained them back as he was joined by Rea. On lap five, the leading three were free from the rest and extended the gap over the next few laps until Rea's hounding of Reiterberger let Bautista extend his gap to just under a second. On lap eight, Bautista led by a second as Rea took second place from the German's BMW and Reiterberger tried to claw the place back in vain.
Jonathan Rea now had clear track between him and the rabbit of Alvaro Bautista, with over a second gap between them. Markus Reiterberger in third was falling back to a hungry Michael van der Mark and the Dutchman, seeing a podium in his future, wasted no time at the Geert Timmer chicane to take third place from Reiterberger.
Alvaro Bautista showed no sign of slowing down, eking out a quarter of a second a lap over Jonathan Rea until his lead extended to over two seconds by lap thirteen. Rea had Michael van der Mark two seconds behind him, but he wasn't closing at a pace that worried the Kawasaki man.
Leon Haslam passed Markus Reiterberger and set about Alex Lowes in a fight that would last until the flag and Reiterberger and his BMW settled into a safe sixth place.
Jonathan Rea kept the pressure on and Alvaro Bautista needed to maintain a hot pace to keep the gap between two and three seconds and the two just did what they do until the flag came out. Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam swapped places a couple of times, with Lowes eventually winning out when Haslam went wide on the penultimate lap.
Alvaro Bautista took his tenth win in a row, the most opening wins for any rider in the series, with Jonathan Rea taking his tenth second place of the year. Michael van der Mark took his first podium of the year, finally taking a podium place of his fourth-placed teammate Alex Lowes who fended off Leon Haslam in fifth place.
Alvaro Bautista and Jonathan Rea extend their respective leads in the championship, with Rea forty-four points off Bautista, while Alex Lowes remained in third as Michael van er Mark closed the gap a little. Leon Haslam in firth place of the championship extended his lead over a disappointing Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies.
Hector Barbera, standing in for an injured Tati Mercado, finished last, out of the points in sixteenth place, but at least his bike wasn't stolen this time.
|1||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4 R|
|2||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||3.130|
|3||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||4.934|
|4||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||10.679|
|5||91||L. HASLAM||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||10.859|
|6||28||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||15.105|
|7||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||17.001|
|8||81||J. TORRES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||20.227|
|9||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||20.276|
|10||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||21.748|
|11||2||L. CAMIER||Honda CBR1000RR||32.686|
|12||33||M. MELANDRI||Yamaha YZF R1||38.777|
|13||11||S. CORTESE||Yamaha YZF R1||43.075|
|14||50||E. LAVERTY||Ducati Panigale V4 R||46.018|
|15||23||R. KIYONARI||Honda CBR1000RR||46.293|
|16||80||H. BARBERA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||2 Laps|
|RET||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||16|
|RET||52||A. DELBIANCO||Honda CBR1000RR||10|