World Superbike race one was declared a wet race and Alvaro Bautista led the championship by just sixteen points. Donington is an undulating track, made of lots of old-fashioned fast, sweeping curves before a short back straight followed by a chicane and two hairpins.
Tom Sykes got away from pole position, but Jonathan Rea took the lead off him into the first turn and started to break away. Leon Haslam, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Sandro Cortese and Alvaro Bautista made up the rest of the top six at the start, but Loris Baz charged through most of them to end the first lap in fourth place.
On lap two, Jonathan Rea started with a lead of almost three seconds over Sykes, Haslam and Baz, with Bautista another second and a half further back. At the Melbourne Loop, the right-handed hairpin before the last corner left-handed hairpin, Loris Baz took third place from Leon Haslam as Rea set the fastest lap. A lap later, Rea set the fastest lap again and started the fourth lap with a lead of over five seconds from Sykes, Baz and Haslam, while Bautista was a further four seconds back. Rea set the fastest lap again, and again on lap five.
Leon Haslam took third place from Loris Baz on lap six, but had a gap of two seconds from Tom Sykes in second place. A lap later, Tom Sykes set the fastest lap as Rea's escape hit its limit at seven seconds. Alessandro Delbianco went off the track and was thrown from his Honda, skidding along on his boots next to the bike, but he held onto the bars and rodeoed his way back onto the seat and saved what should have been a spectacular crash, recovering in fourteenth place and returning to race pace immediately.
The trepidatious wet race continued with gaps just getting slightly larger and no changes in the front six riders until Alvaro Bautista lost the rear going into Starkeys Bridge, sliding in the rain, and as he approached Schwantz Curve, it bit back and threw him from the bike, putting him and the bike into the grass separately and ending his race.
A lap later, Jonathan Rea got told the news on his pit board. He had a six second lead over Tom Sykes and a nine point lead in the championship if he finished in first place.
The gaps between Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes, Leon Haslam, Loris Baz and Alex Lowes expanded as the laps counted down and Rea tapped his tank in jubilation as he exited Fogarty's Esses and approached the last two corners. In his last act in the lead, Rea passed last-placed Marco Melandri after the final corner, Melandri slowing down to avoid having to do another lap in the miserable English weather, and took his fifth win of the season and the championship lead.
Jonathan Rea won ahead of Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam, with Loris Baz's fourth place putting him in the best independent place. Rea has a nine point lead in the championship, ahead of Alvaro Bautista, whose incredible fourteen wins out of twenty races are only good enough for second place. Tom Sykes's second place leapfrogs him from ninth place in the championship to sixth, within six points of third-placed Leon Haslam's fifth place in the title fight. Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes, eighth and fifth place in today's race, remain in third and fourth place in the championship.
Leandro Mercado equalled his best ever sixth placed finish, behind Alex Lowes and ahead of replacement BMW rider Peter Hickman and Michael van der Mark. Alessandro Delbianco finished in ninth place, his best in his rookie year.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||11.348|
|3||91||L. HASLAM||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||23.071|
|4||76||L. BAZ||Yamaha YZF R1||29.935|
|5||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||37.641|
|6||36||L. MERCADO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||46.917|
|7||10||P. HICKMAN||BMW S1000 RR||1'00.135|
|8||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||1'07.062|
|9||52||A. DELBIANCO||Honda CBR1000RR||1'10.752|
|10||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'11.453|
|11||23||R. KIYONARI||Honda CBR1000RR||1'15.161|
|12||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1'24.259|
|13||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'26.777|
|14||33||M. MELANDRI||Yamaha YZF R1||1 Lap|
|RET||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4 R||13 Laps|
|RET||81||J. TORRES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||9|
|RET||11||S. CORTESE||Yamaha YZF R1||9|