Tom Sykes has cruised to victory in the opening World Superbike race of the day at Misano, taking the win from teammate Loris Baz after leading from the opening laps before clearing off at the front of the race.
Tony Elias was an early leader from Sykes and Baz, but a series of mistakes from the former Moto2 champion allowed the factory Kawasaki pair through to the lead, before they pulled out a lead, both riders breaking the lap record, to finish 5 seconds ahead of Baz and 6.5 ahead of third.
Third was Marco Melandri, emerging ahead of Chaz Davies for the spot after an early battle for the spot, while Sylvain Guintoli did his title hopes no favours back in fifth. Elias recovered from his early mistakes to make it three Aprilias in the top six.
Jonathan Rea was seventh, catching and passing Davide Guintoli for the spot but not doing enough to protect his third placed spot in the championship, with Baz taking the spot. Eugene Laverty was ninth and Leon Haslam rounded out the top ten, while Alex Lowes crashed out.
"I wouldn't say it was a comfortable win, but in world championship racing, it was a nice gap. We had to work for it, but we knew we had a few tenths in hand, and the bike came good as we expected it would," said Sykes after the race.