The World Supersport title battle has been thrown wide open again after a fall from the lead by Cal Crutchlow allowed second place Eugene Laverty to close the gap to a mere two points overall.
Crutchlow looked set to extend his advantage at the top of the standings after working his way to the front of the aggregate timesheets, but almost as soon as he'd taken the lead, he came down into the Aqua Minerale right-hander just two laps from home.
His misfortune promoted Kenan Sofuoglu
into the lead, the Turk going on to take his third victory of the season, while Laverty held on for well deserved second place after fighting ride from seventh on the grid.
In a race that was interrupted at the half-way point following a dramatic engine blow for then leader Joan Lascorz, Crutchlow was made to work hard from the very beginning after a slow start from pole position dropped him to fifth.
Allowing fellow front row starters Sofuoglu, Massimo Roccoli and Lascorz to take advantage, Crutchlow also found himself behind Laverty's Parkalgar Honda.
While both riders soon dispatched of Roccoli – who would go on to fall at Tosa on seven -, they began to embark on the fight for third. The position would eventually fall to Crutchlow when he passed on lap four at Villeneuve. Even so, a fierce pace by Sofuoglu and Lascorz up front meant Crutchlow still had a sizeable margin to make up on his rivals.
Gradually though, Crutchlow began to move into contention, setting a series of fastest laps to be on the tail of the pair – themselves disputing third in the standings - on lap ten.
With Sofuoglu making a slight error out of the final corner chicane, Lascorz and Crutchlow promptly breezed into the lead. However, Lascorz's hopes of taking Kawasaki to victory were dashed just moments later when the ZX-6R blew out of the Villeneuve chicane.
Coating the circuit in oil, Lascorz continued unbeknown all the way to Piratella before finally pulling off. With oil on the racing line of three bends, the race was duly red flagged to clear the circuit.