Ben Spies held firm in the face of race long pressure from Max Biaggi to claim his ninth World Superbike victory of the season in race one at Donington Park, while Biaggi survived a last lap scare to claim his first podium since round two in Qatar.
Spies and Biaggi had held their grid positions into turn one at the start of the race, with world championship leader Noriyuki Haga leaping from sixth to third.
The Ducati Xerox star stuck with Spies and Biaggi for the opening laps, but then began to fade steadily backwards, sitting 2.5sec adrift by the halfway stage of the 23 laps and over ten seconds behind at the finish.
Spies officially won by 7.156sec, but that was only because Biaggi's engine died as he exited the Fogarty Esses for the final time.
Assuming he was low on fuel, something which is still to be confirmed, the Roman frantically rocked his Aprilia RSV4 from side-to-side and was rewarded when it sprang back into life, allowing him to claim his third podium of the season.
Prior to that incident, Biaggi had shadowed Spies for the entire race. The former grand prix star gained ground on Spies' Yamaha through the latter part of the lap, while Spies pulled a few bikelengths out on the exit of the final turn and down Craner Curves.
Realising Biaggi was (apparently) going the distance, Spies seemed to save a little extra for the last lap and was a relatively safe 0.688sec in front as the lap began and, even without Biaggi's problem, looked to have victory in the bag.
Spies will start race two a reduced 39 points behind Haga, who finished a lonely race eight seconds clear of fourth placed Leon Haslam. The Stiggy Honda rider earned the top Brit finish by overtaking countryman Shane Byrne with seven laps to go.
But the Sterilgarda Ducati rider refused to be shaken off and was just a few tenths behind Haslam at the line. Biaggi's Aprilia team-mate Shinya Nakano was sixth with Hannspree Ten Kate Honda's Jonathan Rea fighting his way forwards from twelfth on the grid to seventh.