Starting from pole for just the second time in 2022, new WorldSBK champion Alvaro Bautista made a brilliant start as he led into turn one.

With conditions still very wet although drying quickly, Rea, who has a very good record in such conditions, lost a place to Toprak Razgatlioglu.

The second Pata Yamaha of Andrea Locatelli also found his way through on the other factory Kawasaki bike of Alex Lowes, however, the Brit responded before the opening lap was over to regain fourth.

 

Keen to win his first race since round three at Estoril, Rea saw an opportunity to claim second off Razgatlioglu but the six-time world champion ran wide at turn one which handed the advantage back to the Yamaha rider.

As riders started lap three, Rea made the identical move stick as he began to close in on Bautista for the lead. 

Three turns later and Rea was now the leader of the race as Bautista was struggling in the beginning of the lap. 

The same turn four then saw Razgatlioglu pounce on Bautista for second before Lowes did the same at turn seven.

Similar to practice sessions throughout the weekend, Rea was lacking speed in sector four as Razgatlioglu took nearly four tenths out of the Kawasaki star. 

With 17 laps to go, Razgatlioglu, who again gained huge chunks of time in sector four, made his first overtake for the lead stick heading into turn one. 

After running wide at turn two, Razgatlioglu was then overtaken by Rea before Lowes made it a Kawasaki 1-2 with a brave move at Stoner corner.

Lowes, who was clearly the fastest rider on track, then took the lead from Rea before beginning to open an immediate gap. Rea was instead coming under intense pressure from Razgatlioglu and Bautista.

The scene to his last race win in WorldSBK, Lowes was continuing to control things out front although Rea was staying within touch. That was also the case for Bautista after the Spaniard came through on Razgatlioglu following another error from the Turkish star. 

As conditions dried significantly, Rea and Razgatlioglu decided to enter pit lane and switch from wets to dry tyres.

Lowes and Bautista, who were the two fastest riders still on wets decided to stay out. Prior to Rea and Razgatlioglu changing tyres Michael Ruben Rinaldi was one of the first to switch tyres as he went on to unlap himself as Lowes was now slower than those on dry tyres. 

Bautista pitted on the next lap around but lost time as Rea and Razgatlioglu managed to perform the overcut. 

Lowes did the same on lap 11 as he too lost positions to Rea, Razgatlioglu and Bautista. With Scott Redding the current race leader and trying to last the distance on wet tyres, the BMW rider had to instead abort that plan as conditions were now too dry.

Struggling for pace having made the switch to dry tyres, Lowes and Locatelli rapidly closed in on Bautista before a move was made from Lowes towards the end of lap 17. 

Locatelli did the same as riders began lap 18 as Bautista's surprising lack of pace continued.

Despite losing time to Razgatlioglu during the last few laps, Rea took a comfortable win ahead of his rival and team-mate Lowes.