Pre-race championship leader Byrne led off the line, but Lowes forced his way through on the first lap to take the lead. Byrne's Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki teammate Keith Farmer crashed out on the same lap but walked away unharmed.
Lowes and Byrne then made a break, settling into a comfortable rhythym. Tyco Suzuki man Josh Brookes initially following them before they managed to gap him, pulling out three seconds as the pace increased. With two thirds distance done, Byrne started to close down the gap on Lowes, preparing for an overtake.
However, it all went wrong on lap 12 for the Kent man, when he lost the front and slid out at Britten's, gifting the race vistory to Lowes by over four seconds back to Brookes and Milwaukee Yamaha rider James Ellison, who had by now come forward from a bad qulifying to catch the Australian.
It was lap 16 before Ellison was able to make his move on Brookes, getting past and immediatly managing to put some time into him, pulling over a second at the line.
Jon Kirkham battled with Tommy Bridewell for the whole race distance, eventually pulling out a few tenths of a second to take fourth.
Michael Rutter, making his 400th BSB start, retired to the pits on lap 8. Dane Robin Harms had a spectatular off on the same lap, with his bike cartwheeling over the fence to hit a marshalls post, but was fortunatly unharmed.
Lowes said afterwards "It was disappointing with Shakey crashing half way through! It's a fantasitc ahievement, as I've struggled here in the past, so I'm really chuffed, and hopefully we can do the same in race 2. There's a massive crowd and lovely sunshine out there, and that helps too! THe team's working well and I've got the monkey off my back now. I hope Shakey's alright, and I'm looking forward to resuming the battle in race two."
1 Alex Lowes Samsung Honda
2 James Ellison Milwaukee Yamaha
3 Josh Brookes Tyco Suzuki
4 Jon Kirkham Buildbase BMW
5 Tommy Bridewell Bathams Honda
6 Peter Hickman Lloyds British GBmoto Honda
7 James Westmoreland Buildbase BMW
8 PJ Jacobsen Tyco Suzuki
9 Chris Walker Quattro Plant Kawasaki
10 Tristan Palmer Lloyds British GBmoto Honda