Rea grabs race one victory in Imola

Pole sitter Davide Guigliano fired his Ducati to the whole shot as Kawasaki pair Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes slotted into second and third.

Chaz Davies was fourth on the racing Ducati as he attempted to keep pace with the front runners as fellow Brit Leon Haslam slotted into fifth.

Rea set the fastest lap of the race just two laps in as the Northern Irishman started to make inroads into the small 0.321 gap Giugliano had pulled out in the opening exchanges.

Haslam’s Aprilia was slowly gaining on the three ahead before the Brit made a costly mistake at the final chicane which saw him run on and drop back into the clutches of Leandro Mercado who was running in sixth.

Sykes and Rea continued to battle with the Huddersfield man overtaking his team-mate as he looked to catch leader Giugliano.

Davies then set a storming 1’47.290 on lap 6 which was the fastest of race and with it he dived under Rea’s Kawasaki to push the championship leader back to fourth, but disaster struck for the Welshman just half a lap later after a problem with his Ducati forced him to retire.

Sykes finally made his move around the outside of Giugliano’s Ducati into turn one to take the lead as the Italian started to visibly struggle after setting lightening early pace.

Aprilia rider Jordi Torres then fell further down the field as Rea snatched the quickest time of the day with 10 laps to go as he looked to pull the pin from third position.

Rea cruised past Giugliano and started to gain on team-mate Sykes, but just as the Ulsterman looked to take the lead fellow Kawasaki rider Davide Salom crashed out causing a red flag with 9 laps to go.

The paddock lined up in revised grid positions and after a short delay to proceedings the flag was dropped once again with a 6 lap shootout ordered from race control.

Sykes took the hole shot from his new position on pole with Rea second, Haslam was third as Giugliano slipped back into fourth.

The Italian then fought back just two corners later to restore order overtaking Haslam as the Kawasaki’s looked to break away from the pack.

Rea improved on his earlier time by setting a storming 1’46.981 with 4 laps to go and just half a lap later the championship leader moved to the front after team-mate Sykes missed a gear causing the Brit to lose his drive out of the top chicane, Rea instantly pulled a gap of 0.540 as Sykes looked to recover.

The Kawasaki’s were neck and neck across the line to begin the final lap after Sykes set a phenomenal 1’46.707 as he pushed to find a way past his team-mate.
But the 29-year-old had no answer as Rea took the flag and secured his seventh victory out of nine races this season.

Giugliano finished an impressive third on his return to the paddock after a cracked vertebrae with Haslam following in fourth.

Reigning world champion Sylvain Guintoili ended fifth aboard the Pata Honda with Ayrton Badovini and Leandro Mercado following on in sixth and seventh.

Matteo Baiocco steered his Panigale to eighth with Michael van der Mark struggling to ninth after an impressive podium last time out in his homeland, Michel Fabrizio rounded off the top ten.

Race one results:
1.     Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 6 laps 
2. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 0.482s 
3. Davide Giugliano ITA Racing Ducati 1199R 3.945s 
4. Leon Haslam GBR Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 7.455s 
5. Sylvain Guintoli FRA PATA Honda CBR1000RR 11.925s 
6. Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW Italia S1000RR 12.074s 
7. Leandro Mercado ARG Barni Ducati 1199R 12.789s 
8. Matteo Baiocco ITA Althea Ducati 1199R 13.712s 
9. Michael van der Mark NED PATA Honda CBR1000RR 13.863s 
10. Michel Fabrizio ITA Althea Ducati 1199R 14.637s 
11. Roman Ramos ESP GO Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R 16.990s 
12. Alex Lowes GBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 21.123s 
13. Santiago Barragan ESP Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R 32.443s 
14. Christophe Ponsson FRA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 32.977s 
15. Imre Toth HUN Team Toth BMW S1000RR 39.711 
16. Gabor Rizmayer HUN Team Toth BMW S1000RR 40.821 
RT. Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta F4 RR 3 laps 

Did not make the restart 

David Salom ESP Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 
Jordi Torres ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 
Chaz Davies GBR Racing Ducati 1199R 
Randy de Puniet FRA Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000