Jonathan Rea cruised to a comfortable victory in the opening World Superbike race in Misano.
The Kawasaki Racing Team rider took one step closer to a record fourth world title with the commanding win, crossing the line some 2.7 seconds ahead of rival Chaz Davies.
Starting from the front row, it looked as though Irishman Eugene Laverty might have been able to go with Rea as he settled into an impressive second place but it wouldn’t be enough with the three-time World Champion once again easing away from the competition to leave him with enough of a gap to wave at the crowd in the final laps.
Laverty had done enough to keep hold of second, but a mistake at turn 16 towards the end of the race saw the Ducati of Davies slip past the Milwaukee Aprilia.
PATA Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark crossed the line fourth ahead of polesitter Tom Sykes while Xavi Fores completed the top six in a special tricolore colourscheme.
The second factory Ducati of Marco Melandri finished seventh ahead of Lorenzo Savaodri, while Leon Camier and Leandro Mercado rounded out the top ten.
Alex Lowes’ run of consistent race finishes came to an end as he crashed out of the race.
Race two will get underway at 12:00 local time with Van der Mark on pole from Sykes and Fores.