Jonathan Rea dominates to take Race 1 win by nearly 4 seconds
Jonathan Rea dominated the first race in Round 5 of World Superbikes at Imola, taking victory by nearly five seconds.
Championship leader Jonathan Rea produced a dominant performance to secure victory in the opening race of the World Superbikes at Imola.
Kawasaki rider Rea began on pole position and led from start to finish to record his sixth win at the Italian circuit. The Northern Irishman, who is in a strong position to retain his Superbikes crown, finished almost four seconds ahead of his team-mate Tom Sykes, with home favourite Marco Melandri in third.
After setting the fastest lap of the race on his second circuit, Rea maintained a healthy gap as he enjoyed a relatively trouble-free afternoon to win at the track for the first time since 2015.
Saturday's victory also increases his championship lead over Ducati's Chaz Davies, who finished fourth, and Melandri (Aruba.it Racing Ducati).
Welshman Davies, who sits second in the overall standings, dropped to 10th place during a frantic start which saw him miss the final chicane.
He was put under investigation but escaped punishment from the race stewards and managed to claw his way back up the order. Spain's Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) claimed fifth place to continue his strong start to the year, just ahead of Pata Yamaha's Michael van der Mark and seventh-placed Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati).
Australian rider Jason O'Halloran was taken to Imola hospital after medical centre assessments found he suffered a fractured leg during a crash in the early stages of the race.