Max Biaggi broke away from the Althea Ducatis of Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano to win an entertaining first race at Misano. Despite starting out of position, many of the familiar names fought it out at the front with the winner coming through from tenth to beat Checa, who'd started sixteenth himself.
Tom Sykes was hoping to make a break at the front but his advantage on the grid was quickly wiped out by Jonathan Rea who beat him into turn one. Leon Haslam had also got away well to grab third from Giugliano with Biaggi and Checa in the second group, led by Marco Melandri, two seconds off the lead.
As has proven the case on many occasions this year, the stunning Superpole pace of the Kawasaki didn't carry into the race and Sykes started to fall back. Just before half distance, Haslam slipped underneath him into second at turn 11 with Giugliano, Melandri and Biaggi following suit shortly afterwards. The Yorkshireman's plight had allowed Rea to open up a 1.8 second gap in the lead.
The Honda didn't enjoy a comfortable cushion for long as Giugliano shot past Haslam and set off in pursuit of the Ulsterman. The reigning Superstock 1000 champion took a mere four laps to reduce Rea's lead to nothing and with a typically aggressive move, scythed past him at the Quercia corner. Unfortunately for the Italian who was sensing a maiden victory, Biaggi and Checa had joined the fight at the front and hadn't allowed him to get away.
Giugliano displayed tremendous maturity to keep the two most recent world champions behind him for five laps but Biaggi wasn't prepared to bide his time any longer than that. With three laps to go, the championship leader dived up the inside of the Ducati into turn one, bringing Checa through with him, and comfortably led his great rival home over the remainder of the race.
Giugliano settled for a safe third while Tom Sykes bounced back to fourth as tyre wear slowed Jonathan Rea. The Honda rider held on to fifth ahead of a charging Chaz Davies and Eugene Laverty. Both benefitted from problems for the BMWs as Leon Haslam slipped to twelfth and Marco Melandri dropped out altogether. The Effenbert Liberty Ducatis of Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz finished nose to tail in eighth and ninth with Leon Camier completing the top ten for Crescent Fixi Suzuki.