A truly historic 1-2 for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team saw Marco Melandri win a 23-lap opening race at Donington with his team-mate Leon Haslam only 0.728 seconds behind.
An eventual five rider fight for the podium places provided overtaking manoeuvres and personal duels aplenty as the race order changed multiple times. Tissot-Superpole winner Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) won a tense battle to go third, with Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) making up places in the final laps to overhaul Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) and take fourth place. The leading five were covered by 2.102 seconds at the end of the race.
World Champion Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) was sixth, four seconds from the win. He made it five different manufacturers in the top six at the flag.