Aprilia and Biaggi score early glory
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) won the first race of the year by seven seconds from Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and third was a closely following Sylvian Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) after a dramatic contest held over 22-laps.
Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) crashed out of the race while leading, suffering a fast high-side fall on the final corner early in the race. Spots of rain appeared at two separate stages but to no real effect for the majority of the riders and it continued as a dry race.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) took fourth place after leading early on, with Jakub Smrz fifth on his Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati.
Checa wins as Biaggi makes incredible recovery in Race 2
Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) recovered from his big race one crash to post his first win of the year but arguably an even greater performance came from second place finisher Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing).
Checa hit the front early on but Biaggi had run of track on lap one, kept his bike upright and restarted last, then fought through to take a second place and a clear championship lead with a total of 45 points.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) overhauled a slowing Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) in a breathtaking final lap to get his first dry weather Kawasaki podium.
The injured Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) put in a gritty ride to secure fifth place while his team-mate Marco Melandri was one place behind.
Melandri is second in the points to Biaggi with 30, one point ahead of Sykes in overall third. Checa is fourth with 25 points.