World Superbike race one was missing seven riders. Loris Baz was initially declared fit, but after re-evaluation was not allowed to start, and six riders decided not to race out of concern for the safety of the dusty track condition. Chaz Davies, Sandro Cortese, Marco Melandri, Leon Camier, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Eugene Laverty all sat out the race start. The track looked windy and dusty, with an air temperature of thirty one degrees Celsius and forty eight degrees track temperature. There was very little rubber on the track, and they riders would have a twenty one lap race in spite of the conditions.
Of the twelve race starters, Alvaro Bautista got away from pole position, only to find Jonathan Rea on the inside of the first turn. Rea pushed Bautista wide and Michael van der Mark went underneath the pair of them to briefly steal the lead until Rea took it back a few turns later. Behind them, with the same pace, was Toprak Razgatlioglu, frequently getting alongside van der Mark, but not getting past. After the long straight, Alvaro Bautista passed Rea and ended the first lap in the lead. The leading four were clear of the fight for fifth between Alex Lowes, Tom Sykes, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Alessandro Delbianco.
On lap two, behind Alvaro Bautista setting the fastest lap, Toprak Razgatlioglu passed Michael van der Mark into turn ten, a right-handed corner after a series of lefts, to take third place. A lap later, the gap between the Yamaha teammates in fourth and fifth places was over a second, but Alex Lowes in fifth was breaking away from the fight for sixth. Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap only for Razgatlioglu to take it off him a few tenths later.
Alvaro Bautista had a speed advantage down the straight, but Jonathan Rea would close up over the next few corners or would get better drive out of turn seven and catch up down the long straight in spite of the Kawasaki being five kilometres an hour faster through the speed trap. Lap four, Bautista set the fastest lap only for Michael van der Mark to take it off him. Lap six was Rea's turn to take the fastest lap, and on lap seven, when Bautista started struggling through turn seven, the left-hander on to the long, long straight, Jonathan Rea briefly held the lead until the daft power of the Ducati punted Bautista back into the lead before turn eight. Michael van der Mark in fourth place could no longer keep up the pace of the leaders and settled into his own pace, safe from his teammate Alex Lowes over five seconds behind him.
A lap later, Rea did the same, passing at turn seven, losing the lead to the Ducati and showing a wheel to Bautista at every opportunity through the later twisty turns before the finish line. Laps nine and ten were close, the leading pair dropping Toprak Razgatlioglu in third place, but with Bautista setting the fastest laps on both occasions, after that, Rea started to drop off the back of Bautista, eventually giving up the fight on lap twelve. Bautista finally had a two second gap from Rea.
On lap fifteen, Rea make a mistake, losing almost two seconds in turn seven, allowing Toprak Razgatlioglu to catch up. Alex Lowes in fifth place was joined by Leon Haslam but Haslam couldn't pass the Yamaha.
Toprak Razgatlioglu caught up to Rea, even when Rea tried to lose him, and the pair entered the last lap over three seconds behind Alvaro Bautista, but within half of a second of each other.
Alvaro Bautista won the first race of the weekend on his first trip to the track, with Jonathan Rea holding off Toprak Razgatlioglu to get second place. Razgatlioglu's third place gave him the independent championship title. There were no crashes.
With Rea and Bautista having settled the top two places in the title chase, the battle for third place is getting tighter, as Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu close up on Alex Lowes's third place. Van der Mark is only three points behind Lowes with Razgatlioglu a further eleven points back. Leon Haslam is forty one points behind Lowes.
|1||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4 R|
|2||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1.562|
|3||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||3.327|
|4||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||16.996|
|5||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||22.535|
|6||91||L. HASLAM||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||25.840|
|7||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||31.928|
|8||81||J. TORRES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||41.819|
|9||36||L. MERCADO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||46.835|
|10||52||A. DELBIANCO||Honda CBR1000RR||1'03.500|
|11||28||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||1'13.699|
|12||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||3 Laps|