Baz takes dramatic victory
Loris Baz claimed a remarkable win in Race One at Silverstone after plenty of drama that included a red flag, variable weather conditions and late crashes.
The Frenchman held his nerve in treacherous conditions to hold off the challenge of Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini.
With dark clouds looming over Silverstone, the race was red flagged after just one lap following two crashes. Dave Johnson was the first two go down, taking Norino Brignola with him. Further down the track Maxime Berger's crash left pole sitter Jakub Smrz with nowhere to go except over his bike
As a result of the accidents there was oil left at Turn 13 which sent the racers back to the paddock.
With the race declared a wet race, most riders remained on slicks while Smrz and Davide Giugliano gambling on wets - a gamble that didn't pay off.
It was Carlos Checa who enjoyed the best of the early running, pulling out to a lead of 1.3 seconds.
The Spaniard looked supremely comfortable, even when a few spots of rain began to fall with ten laps to go.
However, with six laps remaining Checa began to struggle and home favourite Leon Haslam streaked past him, eating up a gap in excess of a second in a matter of two corners.
Checa continued to drop back as Haslam stretched his lead but as the rain began to fall harder in parts of the track it became anyone's race once more.
Leon Caimer's Suzuki was one of those who started to look very dangerous but the Briton lost his bike going into Becketts with just four laps to go, ending his charge.
Haslam would not get off the hook though as Baz, who had been there or there about for much of the running, took the lead with three laps to go. Like Checa before him, Haslam seemed to be having some difficulty with his bike as he dropped to sixth almost immediately.
The closing laps provided some of the most exciting running of the season as the group of Baz, Checa, Jonathan Rea, Fabrizio and Badovini jockeyed for position.
Just behind them Championship leader Max Biaggi crashed out on the final lap after drifting on to the slippery track sides.
It was Baz who took the lead at Stowe on the final lap and was able to hold on to take his first World Superbike victory.
The drama was not over though as Badovini went down with the line in sight, a helpless Rea had nowhere to go and the duo skidded over the line on their backsides.
It was still enough for Badovini to grab third, with Fabrizio sneaking home in second.
While seventh would normally be a disappointing finish for Marco Melandri, Biaggi's late crash meant that he was still able to close the gap on his Italian compatriot.
1. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) + 40:46.128
2. Michel Fabrizio (BMW) 0.383
3. Aryton Badovini (BMW) 0.459
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 0.539
5. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1.012
6. Leon Haslam (BMW) 2.619
7. Marco Melandri (BMW) 6.123
8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 9.170
9. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 19.022
10. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 19.087
11. Maxine Berger (Ducati) 29.840
12. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati) 30.158
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 44.222
14. Chaz Davies (Aprilia) 1'20.387
15. David Salom (Kawasaki) 1'42.698
16. Guintoli (Ducati) 1 Lap
17. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1 Lap
RT. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
RT. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
RT. Sylvain Canepa (Ducati)
RT. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
NS. Norino Brignola (BMW)
NS. Dave Johnson (Kawasaki)