Pata Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark has taken his maiden WorldSBK victory at Donington Park this lunchtime to become the first Dutchman to win a World Superbike race while Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea scrapped it out for second place.
Van der Mark passed Sykes with two thirds of the race gone and immediately pulled a gap while the Kawasaki team-mates traded paint. Rea made his decisive move for second place with eight laps to run and set off after Van der Mark but just wasn’t able to catch the R1 even with a fastest lap of 1’27.974.
Everyone expected history in race one, but it was Van der Mark who made it rather than Kawasaki’s Rea becoming a stand-alone all-time race winner in WorldSBK.
Not only was Van der Mark was the first Dutch rider to score a full race win in WorldSBK, and this was the first Yamaha win since 2011.
Rea and eventual third placed rider Tom Sykes took turns to lead, but after VDM hit the front he proved to have a higher pace on a different rear tyre choice from the other top riders.
Alex Lowes finished fourth, six seconds down on the second Pata R1, with Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) beating his team-mate Eugene Laverty for fifth.
In seventh place front row starter Loris Baz (Althea BMW ) had a strong finishing position, but was 15 seconds down.
A terrible day for the Ducati riders saw their best placed rider being Chaz Davies in eighth, who passed Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) near the end as Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) clashed and the Turkish rider fell.
A gutsy ride from the still-injured Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda) finish tenth. Wildcard rider Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) was 14th, ahead of PJ Jacobsen (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team) and Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team).
Crocked Marco Melandri fell and restarted to finish 22nd.
In the championship Rea has 229 points, Davies 170, Sykes 153 and VDM 138.