Jonathan Rea has claimed his maiden win at Jerez in the opening World Superbike race after seeing Marco Melandri retire while leading with a technical issue.
After the initial race start was red flagged due to a crash involving Ayrton Badovini and Raffaele De Rosa, Melandri stormed into the lead past Rea on lap six before building a useful one second gap. The Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider held a useful lead when his Panigale R appeared to stop with a mechanical problem four laps from the finish.
That allowed Rea to escape up the road from Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes to clinch his first World Superbike race win at Jerez.
Davies had to settle for the runner-up spot but has closed the points gap on Sykes with the Kawasaki rider in third place.
Pata Yamaha pair Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark kept in touch of the podium finishers throughout the Jerez opener but couldn’t quite join the fight for the rostrum with the English rider taking fourth ahead of his Dutch team-mate.
Sylvain Guintoli completed an impressive return to the World Superbike championship by finishing sixth and just 11 seconds off of Rea on his Puccetti Kawasaki debut – but comfortably ahead of Milwaukee Aprilia duo Lorenzo Savadori in seventh and Eugene Laverty in eighth.
Full Jerez World Superbike race one results:
1. Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10RR 19 laps
2. Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale R +1.137s
3. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10RR +1.599s
4. Alex Lowes GBR PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 +3.652s
5. Michael van der Mark NED PATA Yamaha YZF-R1 +7.329s
6. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-10RR +11.066s
7. Lorenzo Savadori ITA Milwaukee Aprilia RSV4 +15.235s
8. Eugene Laverty IRE Milwaukee Aprilia RSV4 +16.241s
9. Xavi Fores ESP Barni Ducati Panigale R +16.273s
10. Roman Ramos ESP Team Go Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10RR +18.463s
11. Leandro Mercado ARG IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4 +21.058s
12. Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta RC F4 RR +24.869s
13. Jordi Torres ESP Althea BMW S1000RR +25.008s
14. Alessandro Andreozzi ITA Guandalini Yamaha YZF-R1 +34.028s
15. Ondrej Jezek CZE Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10RR +34.201s
16. Takumi Takahashi JPN Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2 +1m
17. Riccardo Russo ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10RR +2 laps
Did not finish
Davide Giugliano ITA Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2
Marco Melandri ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale R
Dominic Schmitter SUI 81 HPC-Power Suzuki GSX-R1000
Did not start
Ayrton Badovini ITA Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10RR
Raffaele De Rosa ITA Althea BMW S1000RR