Colin Edwards comfortably won the opening race at Oschersleben to put one hand on the 2000 World Superbike Championship after a dominant performance around the bumpy German track.
Colin Edwards cemented his place at the top of the 2000 World Superbike Championship after comfortably waltzing away from the massive 36-bike field to lead from start to finish and increase his lead over Noriyuki Haga with just three races remaining.
The American Honda rider made a faultless start from pole position to take the advantage into Turn One and into a lead he never lost.
Behind the leader there was a scary crash involving third place man Juan Borja and Doriano Romboni when Romboni's riderless Ducati sideswiped Borja sending the Spaniard onto the tarmac right in front of the oncoming pack. Somehow everyone avoided Borja who retreated to safety nursing a sprained wrist.
At the end of lap one, Edwards was already opening out a slight margin over his pursuers who were led initially by Troy Bayliss and Pier Francesco Chili. The fast starting Giovanni Bussei held down fifth place and was the first of a quartet of bright green Kawasaki's, the three factory machines of Akira Yanagawa, Gregorio Lavilla and Peter Goddard all following line astern.
As for the other championship contenders, Troy Corser was closely following the Kawasaki train in ninth place ahead of Aaron Slight while Noriyuki Haga found himself boxed in at the start and was only 13th.
The ease with which Edwards was able to pull away from Chili and Bayliss in the opening laps was quite astonishing with the American rider looking relaxed and well within his limits.
Chili on the other hand was far from relaxed and with the pain from his Assen crash adding to his already damaged shoulder, the Suzuki rider was soon struggling to control his mount over the vicious bumps that have made this circuit one of the most physically demanding on the WSB calendar.
The battle for fifth place, which had initially involved all everyone down to Haga in 13th was thinned out as Bussei began to fall away with a slight misfire that would eventually prove terminal and Goddard was summoned to the pits after jumping the start.