Alvaro Bautista ESP Aruba.it Racing – Ducati 10 laps
2. Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing Team +1.176s
3. Leon Haslam GBR Kawasaki Racing Team +5.072s
4. Alex Lowes GBR Pata Yamaha +6.713s
5. Michael van der Mark NED Pata Yamaha +6.800s
6. Marco Melandri ITA GRT Yamaha +7.904s
7. Sandro Cortese GER GRT Yamaha +8.224s
8. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ITA Barni Racing Team Ducati +10.944s
9. Eugene Laverty IRE Team Go Eleven Ducati +12.416s
10. Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing – Ducati +14.068s
11. Tom Sykes GBR BMW WorldSBK Team +14.710s
12. Markus Reiterberger GER BMW WorldSBK Team +16.994s
13. Leon Camier GBR Moriwaki Althea Honda Team +20.012s
14. Ryuichi Kiyonari JPN Moriwaki Althea Honda Team +24.013s
15. Toprak Razgatlioglu TUR Kawasaki Puccetti Racing +36.851
Bautista, making his debut in the series after nine years in MotoGP, gave the new Panigale V4 R bike victory by 14.983s after taking the lead on the opening lap.
Despite having swept the pre-season test at the Australian venue and setting the pace in practice, Bautista was beaten by the two factory Kawasakis in qualifying.
But the former MotoGP rider picked off Leon Haslam at the start, and swiftly pounced on pole-sitter Jonathan Rea to take the lead at Stoner Corner.
Rea initially kept up with the Ducati, but was overtaken by Haslam on the following lap – and though he reclaimed the spot a few corners later, Bautista had already cleared off.
The Spaniard was three seconds up the road by the time Haslam passed Rea again on the fourth lap at the Turn 4 right-hander, and when Rea retook second again some seven laps later at the first corner, he was now almost eight seconds down on Bautista.
As the race passed its halfway point, Kawasaki newcomer Haslam swept past his champion teammate once more, this time at Stoner Corner, only to crash at Turn 4 a lap later.
This finally left Rea in clean air, but the four-time champion was forced to focus on defending from Yamaha’s Alex Lowes rather than make inroads into Bautista’s unassailable lead.
Rea was ultimately successful at fending off Lowes, who lost third to a charging Marco Melandri on the GRT Yamaha on the final lap, as the other works Yamaha of Michael van der Mark completed the top five.