Rea made the best getaway from the outside of the front row when the 21-lap race got underway on a wet track, dropping the BMWs of Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty to second and third respectively.
GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff also tried to pass the BMW duo by making a lunge into Turn 1, but in doing so he hit Sykes’ bike and sent him straight into the path of Laverty.
Both BMWs were eliminated from the race in the incident, while Gerloff held control of his Yamaha to slot into third behind race leader Rea and Alex Lowes.
On lap 2, both Gerloff and Ten Kate Yamaha’s Loris Baz cleared the second Kawasaki of Lowes and joined Rea in a three-way battle for the lead.
Baz took advantage of a wide moment for Gerloff to move up to second and then started hunting down Rea, while Gerloff positioned himself behind the leading duo in third.
On lap 5, Baz dived down the inside of Rea at the Adelaide hairpin, but Rea got a better exit out of the corner to retain the lead.
Two laps later, Gerloff suffered a major highside coming out of the Turn 6 kink and crashed out of the race, leaving Rea and Baz to battle it out for victory.
Baz initially stayed close to the tail of Rea’s Kawasaki, but Rea put the hammer down on lap 14, pulling 1.8s clear of the Frenchman.
He eventually won the race by a comfortable margin…