Sykes’ demise promoted a huge battle between van der Mark and Razgatlioglu for the final podium position. The Turkish star made his move in the closing stages and got ahead of van der Mark. Then, a grandstand finish between the two, swapping paint and trading blows on the penultimate lap, colliding twice and bringing Leon Haslam back into the mix. Imola was once more providing thrilling action.
Meanwhile, in a league of his own, Jonathan Rea blitzed the opposition in a vintage fashion, taking his first win of the season to end the run of victories by Alvaro Bautista. The Spaniard maintains a healthy championship lead with a second-place finish and then, in the battle for third, Toprak held on for his third WorldSBK podium! Michael van der Mark and Leon Haslam completed the top five!
Inside the top six from a poor Tissot Superpole, Marco Melandri was ahead of Alex Lowes, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi eighth after his antics earlier on in the day. Lorenzo Zanetti (Motocorsa Racing) was an impressive ninth as his wildcard weekend unfolded. Completing the top ten, the sole-surviving BMW of Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team).
Outside of the top ten was Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) who had a disappointing ride, whilst a phenomenal performance for super-sub Tommy Bridewell (Team Goeleven) saw the British rider come home in 12th. Hector Barbera (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) and Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team) completed the points. Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) had a fast crash at Acque Minerale in the closing stages.
It is Jonathan Rea’s eighth win at Imola and his 72nd career victory in WorldSBK, ending his longest winless run since 2013. It is the 128th win for Kawasaki in WorldSBK too.Get MoreBikes delivered through your letterbox every month. 12 issues for £15. Click here for more information.