26 May 2018, a date that will remain impressed on the mind of Michael van der Mark. Yes, because after four seasons in Superbike, the Dutch rider has managed to score his first ever win. In race 1 at Donington, the Yamaha rider put together a shrewd and fast race, taking advantage of the battle between Rea and Sykes to power his R1 onto the top step of the podium after a seven-year fast.
The race saw the two Kawasaki men battling it out between them, both equally keen to finish on top. In the end, it was van der Mark who profited, moving into the lead seven laps from the end and hanging on tight to his advantage. Rea tried everything to close the gap to the Dutchman, but his fight with Tom caused him to lose valuable tenths.
The Cannibal will no doubt be disappointed, but he can console himself with what turned out to be a black Saturday for Chaz Davies. A complicated day that saw the Welshman cross the line eighth, thanks to a contact between Haslam and Razgatlioglu on the final lap, which saw the Turk crash out. Things were worse for Marco Melandri, who crashed six laps from the end.
Alex Lowes crossed the line fourth, followed by the Aprilias of Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty, while Loris Baz closed seventh on the BMW, having started from the front row. A brave Leon Camier also closed inside the top ten, ahead of the MV Agusta of Jordi Torres and the Panigale of Michael Rinaldi.