Jonathan Rea has maintained his World Superbike championship domination with his ninth consecutive race victory and created further history as the first-ever winner in Argentina.
Rea bolted past pole-sitter Marco Melandri at the second corner before setting a rapid race pace which none of his rivals could match. The four-time World Superbike champion duly forged a time cushion which he gradually built up lap by lap to take an easy victory – his ninth-in-a-row – to further cement his domination in 2018.
The reigning champion’s win also secured Kawasaki a fourth consecutive World Superbike manufacturers’ title while Rea became the first winner at the new Circuito San Juan Villicum which joined the series’ calendar this year.
Melandri came home a distant second place for Aruba.it Racing Ducati having eased off over the final two laps.
The bulk of the race action was for the final podium spot which went to Toprak Razgatlioglu for Puccetti Kawasaki who surged up the midfield at the mid-race stage for his second podium in his rookie campaign.
Razgatlioglu made a series of bold passes to move from sixth to third and was followed up the order by Xavi Fores on the Barni Ducati. Eugene Laverty faded late on for Milwaukee Aprilia to lose out on a potential podium but did hold off Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes to keep fifth place at the chequered flag.
Pata Yamaha duo Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark endured a lonely race in seventh and eighth respectively while Loris Baz got past Leon Camier on the final lap to secure ninth place for Althea BMW.
That left the Red Bull Honda rider in 10th, with his team-mate Jake Gagne crashing out on lap seven, in a race which had a high attrition race to see just 14 finishers.
Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies tumbled out on lap 12, just as drops of rain were detected on the final two sectors of the track, as he went for an overtake on Sykes at Turn 8.
A solid ride on his World Superbike debut saw Florian Marino grab 11th place for Triple M Honda as Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki), Maximilian Scheib (MV Agusta) and Gabriele Ruiu (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) completed the final finishers.