Lowes made a superb start from the second row of the grid, immediately making up places to cross the line in third place at the end of the opening lap. The 28-year-old Briton was then embroiled in a three-way battle for second place, with Lowes, Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea swapping places on almost every lap as Alvaro Bautista extended his gap at the front of the race. With six laps remaining Lowes looked certain to claim his best result of the season to date with second place, but as rear grip became more difficult to find the Pata Yamaha rider was unable to maintain his podium challenge and was forced to settle for fourth place and valuable points at the line.
After a difficult Superpole session, in which he qualified only 11th on the grid, van der Mark and his crew took the chance on an untested set-up for the race. It was a gamble that paid off for the Pata Yamaha rider, who made a flying start from the third row, only to have to immediately shut off to avoid Markus Reiterberger, who crashed in front of him. By mid-race distance, van der Mark had caught the group fighting for second, but a drop off in rear grip in the closing stages of the race meant that he was unable to mount a challenge for the podium and he eventually finished sixth.
Cortese impressed with a Superpole performance that saw the WorldSBK rookie claim second place on the grid for Race 1 this afternoon, but the reigning Supersport World Champion was unable to capitalise on his front row start in the early stages of the race. After dropping back initially, the GRT Yamaha rider eventually found his rhythm and was closing on the battle for the podium throughout the second half of the race before eventually running out of laps. Cortese was happy with his performance overall as, while this was his third successive seventh-place finish, this time he halved the gap to the podium compared to Race 2 in Thailand.
It was an afternoon to forget for Melandri, who has struggled all weekend to find a set-up on the GRT Yamaha YZF-R1 to inspire confidence. The Italian got a good start in the race, but gradually dropped back to finish 12th as the problems he experienced throughout practice and qualifying continued to hamper his progress. The team will go through the data tonight in a bid to find a solution for tomorrow’s sprint and feature races.