World Superbike has a new race format including the ten lap sprint race to determine the first three rows of the grid for race two, the Tissot Superpole Race. The winner gets 12 points, but the race win isn't added to the record books. Pirelli have supplied a short race tyre that should last ten laps of every circuit on the calendar. As this is the first time this has been done, all bets are off on what will happen.
Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista headed off Leon Haslam who lost third place to Alex Lowes after a few turns with Marco Melandri in sixth place. Lap two started with Alvaro Bautista passing Jonathan Rea on the straight and leading by three thousandths of a second before Rea took the lead back on the brakes into turn one. Bautista tried to take the lead into turn three, but Rea held him off.
At the end of lap two, Bautista set the fastest lap and passed Rea down the straight, holding the lead. Behind Rea, Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes swapped places until Leon Haslam spoiled their fun by taking fourth place off Lowes.
After another fastest lap, Bautista held his lead until turn four when Rea took the lead from him. Behind them, Leon Haslam took third into the first turn and held it, stretching a gap as the Yamahas returned to fighting each other behind him.
On lap five, Bautista powered past Rea down the straight, but Rea held the lead into the first turn and rode a very wide bike for the whole lap until the exact same thing happened, with Bautista powering past and Rea taking it back on the brakes, but this time, Bautista was able to get past Rea at turn three. When he was passed, Rea looked over his shoulder and saw Leon Haslam a second behind him and returned to less defensive lines and glued himself to the rear wheel of Bautista's high-revving Ducati.
Bautista and Rea ran away at the lead, with Leon Haslam in a lonely third place as Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes swapped places, racing side by side. On lap eight, Bautista set the fastest lap ahead of Rea who then set an even faster one, refusing to give up.
Bautista had a handful of tenths between him and Rea, and his impressive top speed meant Rea could stay with him but had no chance to pass him. Bautista won the inaugural sprint race and took the twelve points while Jonathan Rea behind him took nine points. Leon Haslam took the last spot of the podium and third place on the grid for race two.
Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Marco Melandri fill the second row with Yamahas with Sandro Cortese, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Eugene Laverty catching the remaining points.
Jonathan Rea declared that he didn't have anything special for the next race and to expect a similar result from the new Ducati Panigale and Alvaro Bautista.
|1||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4 R|
|2||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1.176|
|3||91||L. HASLAM||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||5.072|
|4||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||6.713|
|5||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||6.800|
|6||33||M. MELANDRI||Yamaha YZF R1||7.904|
|7||11||S. CORTESE||Yamaha YZF R1||8.224|
|8||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||10.944|
|9||50||E. LAVERTY||Ducati Panigale V4 R||12.416|
|10||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||14.068|
|11||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||14.710|
|12||28||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||16.994|
|13||2||L. CAMIER||Honda CBR1000RR||20.012|
|14||23||R. KIYONARI||Honda CBR1000RR||24.013|
|15||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||36.851|
|16||17||T. HERFOSS||Honda CBR1000RR||48.731|
|17||81||J. TORRES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||58.942|
|RET||36||L. MERCADO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||9|
|RET||52||A. DELBIANCO||Honda CBR1000RR||1|