Race One at Aragon proved to be a happy hunting ground for Kawasaki’s Johnny Rea, as the Ulsterman claimed the win, thus becoming the 200th British winner in the series.
Rea looked comfortable throughout, but it was polesitter and race favourite Chaz Davies who got the holeshot, with Rea right on his tail. The duo then become embroiled in a fascinating duel for the lead, the Welshman’s Ducati faster to accelerate, with Rea’s Kawasaki better at quick direction changes.
The lead continued to swap, and while Rea had the upper hand in the opening-half of the lap, the Ducati was stronger in the second-half of the lap, but with their lap-times very similar, it was difficult to break away.
As the race wore on, it was clear the Ducati rider was having to push harder to keep up the pace, with Rea looking much more comfortable.
The final laps began with the pair once again trading places, but on the penultimate lap Davies carried too much speed on the way into the corner, and ran wide on entry and lost the front-end, his leg getting caught under the Panigale as he slid what seemed like an eternity. Luckily it seems he has escaped unharmed.
That left Rea to cross the finish line in first place, extending his lead to 55-points in the process. With Davies having won five times at Aragon in the past, the win was a real statement of intent from Rea. Let’s hope Race Two is just as explosive.