A double crash took place on the opening lap as Garrett Gerloff and Xavi Vierge suffered identical falls at turn two.

Both riders got caught up in the middle of the pack before running onto the grass and crashing before reaching the gravel.

At the front, Rea took the lead away from Bautista at turn four which also allowed a fast-charging Scott Redding to move into second.

Bautista was then pushed down to fourth after Alex Lowes made yet more progress following early moves on Andrea Locatelli and Toprak Razgatlioglu

As Redding began to find Rea’s pace too hot to handle, Bautista, Razgatlioglu and Lowes all made quick overtakes on the BMW rider.

Rea was then reeled in immediately by Bautista as the Ducati rider set the fastest lap of the race on lap seven, whilst overtaking the Kawasaki rider for the lead. 

As the pace increased, Rea and Razgatlioglu had the answers when it came to staying in touch, although passing the Spaniard was proving difficult. 

Mistakes at the end of lap 10 and again on lap 11 allowed Rea to close in on Bautista, with Razgatlioglu and Lowes also bringing themselves in contention.

A wheelie on the exit of turn five saw Rea get close again before the six-time world champion had a moment of his own on corner exit. 

As riders went over mid-race distance, Lowes was the rider on the charge as Razgatlioglu was slowest of the leading quartet. 

The lead group was down to just two on lap 13 as Razgatlioglu was dropped by over a second by Bautista and Rea. 

Vital for his attempts of closing back in on the leading duo, Lowes finally made the move stick with eight laps to go, although a big gap was now created. 

Over six tenths was the margin between Bautista and Rea with six laps to go which was the most for many laps, however, Rea regrouped on the following lap in order to reduce the deficit to two tenths. 

Just as the battle for the win was heating up, a red flag was brought out due to a crash for Eugene Laverty.

With only five laps remaining it meant victory for the second time today for WorldSBK champion Bautista, with Rea and Lowes finishing on the podium.