The Superbike World Championship fight is right back on again thanks to the first race of the restarted season, after Jonathan Rea (KRT) crashed out. Race winner Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) dominated the entire event from start to finish, ending up over ten seconds clear of Tom Sykes (KRT). Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team) was a popular dry weather third.
A new lap record from Davies saw him run clear of the competition and by lap two his 1’37.357 had taken him half a second away from the best of his peers. His initial pace was bewildering for his rivals to grasp, as he continued to put in mid 1’37s for lap-after-lap.
With Rea slowly closing in on Sykes for second place, by lap six Davies was 3.5 laps ahead.
The threat to Rea, in an early fourth place, was the Ioda Racing Aprilia of Lorenzo Savadori, just 0.3 seconds back from a podium by lap seven - after breaking free from the chasing group early in the race.
Hayden had also broken away from the big pack by third race distance.
Sudden drama on lap eight saw Rea crash entering the tenth turn, as his back end appeared to lose grip and he ended up on his side in the gravel. He got going again but ran on a couple of corners later, and he entered pitlane to retire shortly afterwards.
Savadori was next to fall, now from a podium place, as he chased Sykes.
Then, to the dismay of the home crowd, Markus Reiterberger (Althea Racing BMW) was out with a technical problem.
The long-time top three of Davies, Sykes and Hayden stayed that way to the flag.
Behind, Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) in fourth place held Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) at bay as the MV Agusta rider made a great run towards the front at sometimes class-leading pace.
Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team) got the best of a late tussle with Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati).
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) passed his returning team-mate Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) for eighth place, as Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team Ducati) rounded out the top ten first race finishers.
In the championship, Rea leads Sykes by 26 points, Davies is third some 83 points from the lead, with one Lausitzring race still to go on Sunday.
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