In the opening 18-lap encounter at MotorLand Aragon, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) claimed his fourth win of the season, equalling his previous best for number of victories in a year in just five starts. The Ulsterman came out on top at the end of an enthralling last lap saw, which him lose the lead only to retake it on the final corner from fellow Briton Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) who finished second, missing out the victory by 0.051s.
Initially leading from the start, other KRT rider Tom Sykes was put under immense pressure from the current championship leader and team mate Jonathan Rea who eventually overhauled the former champion on lap 14, and Chaz Davies whose pace in the closing stages was impressive as he clawed back a small gap that had opened up to put himself into contention as the trio neared the last lap. Sykes would eventually finish in the final podium place.
Behind the leading three another three way fight ensued, with Pole Position man Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) getting the better of his team mate Jordi Torres, the pair finish fourth and fifth respectively, just ahead of Xavi Fores on the second factory Ducati Panigale R machine.
Nico Terol (Althea Racing Ducati) closed to within 2.3s of Haslam to claim a well-deserved seventh ahead of Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati), Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Leon Camier, who completed the top-10.
It was a difficult opening race for the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki pairing of Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet who both retired to the pits within the opening five laps before rejoining at half distance in an attempt to ensure the technical issues do not re-appear in Race 2. Pata Honda rider Michael van der Mark also retired on lap 11.
WorldSBK MotorLand Aragon – Race 1
1 – Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team
2 – Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team +0.051
3 – Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +4.977