World Superbike race one started with blossom and green flags billowing in the Italian wind, ahead of tomorrow's probable rain.
Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea got good starts from the front of the grid, but Alvaro Bautista had to make up for a not so good start, closing up to Rea in the first couple of corners. Rea took the lead cleanly in the Villeneuve chicane, leaving Davies for Bautista to deal with, only Davies went wide, letting Bautista through.
Chaz Davies rode round slowly, suffering a mechanical problem on his Ducati Panigale V4, throwing his gloves across his garage upon his return.
On lap two, It looked like it was going to be the early Rea and Bautista fight we've seen before, but Rea set the fastest lap on lap two followed by setting a new lap record of 1'46.023 on lap three, building a gap at the lead, a few tenths a lap. Tom Sykes had a comfortable third place, a second ahead of the tussle for fourth between Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark, Leon Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu.
On lap four, with Rea, Bautista and Sykes all stretching out their gaps, van der Mark passed Lowes and Haslam passed Razgatlioglu.
Four laps at a high pace, gaps at the front extended more, but everyone in the front seven stayed in their relative positions until Alex Lowes made a slight mistake, letting first Toprak Razgatlioglu past then Leon Haslam. His pace dropped off and he worked his way backwards to a hungry Marco Melandri, a couple of seconds back.
On lap ten, Jonathan Rea had a five second lead over Alvaro Bautista, averaging a half second a lap advantage over his rival, but TomSykes finally conceded the podium, his BMW just losing what little power it had to let the fight for fourth charge past and become a podium fight. Sykes pitted in.
A lap later, Toprak Razgatlioglu took third place from Michael van der Mark at turn three as Leon Haslam looked on from fifth position. A lap later, Alex Lowes finally succumbed to Marco Melandri, the Italian making a forceful pass into the last chicane, pushing the Englishman out to the rumble strip on the entrance to the finish straight.
Jonathan Rea kept his half second quicker pace up, a second quicker than anyone apart from Alvaro Bautista, and held an eight second lead ahead of Bautista who had a ten second gap back to the third place contretemps between Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark, with Leon Haslam missing a chicane a couple of times and having to recover the time lost through the run off. Sandro Cortese crashed out on lap fifteen.
On lap sixteen, van der Mark lunged under Razgatlioglu, missing the apex, letting the Kawasaki rider take third place back, in spite of van der Mark very nearly being able to close the gap.
On the penultimate lap, Michael van der Mark took third from Toprak Razgatlioglu at the Tamburello chicane, but Razgatlioglu ponked van der Mark out of the way at Tosa to take third back, the contact not phasing either rider. Leon Haslam had caught up to the podium battle, closing as they fought.
On the last lap, with Rea and Bautista clearing off, Razgatlioglu made an attempt to break free of van der Mark, assisted by Haslam snapping at the Yamaha's rear wheel, and it was enough to secure him his third career podium.
Jonathan Rea won like Alvaro Bautista, with Bautista taking on the role of Jonathan Rea, with the pair demonstrating once again that they're a head and shoulders above the rest of the grid. Rea's first win of the series put him to within forty eight points of the leader Bautista. Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Leon Haslam all maintain their championship positions, with fourth placed van der Mark closing to within seven points of his teammate Lowes.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4 R||7.832|
|3||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||19.291|
|4||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||19.968|
|5||91||L. HASLAM||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||20.111|
|6||33||M. MELANDRI||Yamaha YZF R1||31.846|
|7||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||32.024|
|8||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||34.107|
|9||87||L. ZANETTI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||34.814|
|10||28||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||40.196|
|11||81||J. TORRES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||51.426|
|12||46||T. BRIDEWELL||Ducati Panigale V4 R||55.235|
|13||80||H. BARBERA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||56.539|
|14||23||R. KIYONARI||Honda CBR1000RR||1'01.025|
|15||52||A. DELBIANCO||Honda CBR1000RR||1'27.025|
|RET||11||S. CORTESE||Yamaha YZF R1||14|
|RET||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||10 Laps|
|RET||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||18 Laps|