Jonathan Rea fought back from a grid penalty to beat Tom Sykes to the chequered flag in Race 1 at Assen, a race that should have seen Chaz Davies finish second.
Race 1 got underway in controversial circumstances as Rea was stripped of his pole position after being slapped with a three-place grid penalty for blocking Davies in Superpole.
As such Sykes began the 21-lap Assen race from pole ahead of Davies while Lorenzo Savadori completed the front row. Rea fell to fourth.
Davies stormed into the lead ahead of Sykes, Rea and Marco Melandri, which quickly became the foursome fighting for the victory.
That became a three-rider tussle as Davies, Rea and Sykes pulled away from the chasing pack, Melandri not able to hang on.
With Rea less than two-tenths behind Davies, the Arubi.it rider – using the softer rear tyre – was forced to adjust his line and take a defensive position.
The three-rider battle was reduced to two when, with six to do, the leading duo dropped Sykes, who is recovering from illness and just didn't have the pace needed.
Rea made his move with four to go, sliding up the inside through Turn 13/14. However, P1 was only briefly in his grasp as Davies came back at him at the GT chicane.
Rea made another move on the penultimate lap and was handed a free ride to the finish line as Davies' Ducati ran into technical troubles, leaving the Arubi.it rider stranded on the side of the track.
Rea won Race 1 ahead of Sykes and a distant Melandri.
Behind them it was an intense battle with riders changing positions lap after lap. Eventually, Xavi Fores was able to pull away, dropping his rivals to finish a lonely P4.
Savadori was fifth ahead of Stefan Bradl, Roman Ramos, Leandro Mercado and Eugene Laverty. Leon Camier completed the top ten.
Michael van der Mark, who had an off on the opening lap, crashed out on lap 2 with a high-side at Turn 5. Riccardo Russo also retired along with Alex Lowes, who went down at Turn 10, and Jordi Torres.
1 REA Jonathan Kawasaki ZX-10RR
2 SYKES Tom Kawasaki ZX-10RR +4.501
3 MELANDRI Marco Ducati Panigale R 17.673
4 FORÉS Xavi Ducati Panigale R 22.569
5 SAVADORI Lorenzo Aprilia RSV4 RF 30.797
6 BRADL Stefan Honda CBR1000RR 33.530
7 RAMOS Román Kawasaki ZX-10RR 39.176
8 LAVERTY Eugene Aprilia RSV4 RF 39.254
9 MERCADO Leandro Aprilia RSV4 RF 39.266
10 CAMIER Leon MV Agusta 1000 F4 41.493
11 KRUMMENACHER Randy Kawasaki ZX-10RR 43.623
12 DE ANGELIS Alex Kawasaki ZX-10RR 48.218
13 DE ROSA Raffaele BMW S 1000 RR 49.487
14 HAYDEN Nicky Honda CBR1000RR 50.016
15 BADOVINI Ayrton Kawasaki ZX-10RR > 1'
16 JEZEK Ondrej Kawasaki ZX-10RR > 1'
RT DAVIES Chaz Ducati Panigale R
RT TORRES Jordi BMW S 1000 RR
RT LOWES Alex Yamaha YZF R1
RT RUSSO Riccardo Yamaha YZF R1
RT VAN DER MARK Michael Yamaha YZF R1