Restarted 6 lap race has huge crowd on their feet from start to finish.
The opening race at Imola, the Acerbis Italian Round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship resulted in victory for championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) after a the race was initially red flagged and restarted because of crash involving David Salom (Team Pedercini).
Prior to the stoppage Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) had the packed grandstands all around the track on their feet, leading from the start before proceeding to take the fight to the Kawasaki Racing Team duo of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, the trio holding a comfortable ten second lead at the time the race was stopped.
The pace in the restart was electric, as the Kawasaki pairing of Sykes and Rea pushed each other to the limit. A lap record on lap 2 for Rea saw him pass his team mate only for Sykes to respond with an even faster lap to pile on the pressure.
A tense final lap saw Rea cling on to claim his 22nd career win ahead of Sykes with Davide Giugliano who produced a determined ride to claim 3rd and the final podium place on his return to the WorldSBK paddock.
Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) made changes during the short delay, the British rider looked more comfortable finishing 4th ahead of the Pata Honda of reigning World Champion who overhauled 10 riders to jump from 15th on the original starting grid to 5th. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) scored a solid ten points in 6th.
Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) was part of a six rider group that was fighting for 5th, the reigning FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup winner taking 7th ahead of Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing), Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), and Michel Fabrizio who took a solid 10th position on his one-off ride, replacing the injured Nico Terol.
Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Santiago Barragan (Grillini SBK Team), Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini) and Imre Toth (BMW Team Toth) rounded out the point scoring finishers.
Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) was running in 6th in the early stages of the first part of race 1 before a mistake dropped him down the order, the Spanish WorldSBK rookie re-grouped before crashing out unhurt with 11 laps to go. He along with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) were unable to take part in the restart.
Race two is scheduled to take place at 1310 local time over a full race distance of 19 laps.