Reigning World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea kicked off the 2016 season with a victory at Phillip Island as he kept the late-charging Chaz Davies at bay.
Third on the grid, Rea got a jump on fellow front-row starters Tom Sykes and Davide Giugliano but only led the way for a handful of laps before giving up the place to his teammate Sykes.
The Kawasaki duo was at that point closely followed by Giugliano, Michael van der Mark and the fast-starting Davies, the trio jockeying for positions.
Sykes' pace would then drop off in a big way at around the halfway point as he was muscled down the order, allowing van der Mark and the Ducatis of Giugliano and Davies to establish themselves as Rea's main challengers.
However, the Northern Irishman's lead was left largely unchallenged up until the final lap.
Having emerged victorious in a duel with van der Mark for second, Davies was able make a move on Rea, edging ahead under braking but running just wide enough to allow Rea to retake the spot.
The reigning champion would, as such, go on to win the race, albeit did so by just 0.063s.
Van der Mark completed the podium, having to fend off Giugliano through the final corners.
Sykes had to settle for fifth, just holding off Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman securing sixth on Yamaha's return as his teammate Alex Lowes crashed out.
Leon Camier recovered from a slow start to take seventh, followed by Jordi Torres, newcomer Nicky Hayden, who had run with the fellow Honda of van der Mark before dropping off, and Josh Brookes.
|1||Jonathan Rea||Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10R||33:47.823|
|2||Chaz Davies||Ducati Team||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||+0.063|
|3||Michael van der Mark||Honda World Superbike Team||Honda CBR1000RR SP||+0.487|
|4||Davide Giugliano||Ducati Team||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||+0.647|
|5||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+3.429|
|6||Sylvain Guintoli||Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team||Yamaha YZF-R1||+3.510|
|7||Leon Camier||MV Agusta||MV Agusta 1000 F4||+10.721|
|8||Jordi Torres||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW S1000 RR||+11.539|
|9||Nicky Hayden||Honda World Superbike Team||Honda CBR1000RR SP||+15.534|
|10||Joshua Brookes||Milwaukee BMW||BMW S1000 RR||+23.239|
|11||Roman Ramos||Team Go Eleven||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+23.411|
|12||Lorenzo Savadori||IodaRacing Team||Aprilia RSV4 RF||+24.012|
|13||Karel Abraham||Milwaukee BMW||BMW S1000 RR||+37.281|
|14||Mike Jones||Desmo Sport Ducati||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||+44.720|
|15||Sylvain Barrier||Pedercini Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+46.357|
|16||Dominic Schmitter||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+1:08.238|
|17||Saeed Al Sulaiti||Pedercini Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+1:08.299|
|18||Peter Sebestyen||Team Toth||Yamaha YZF-R1||+1:30.771|
|19||Imre Toth||Team Toth||Yamaha YZF-R1||+1 lap|
|DNF||Markus Reiterberger||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW S1000 RR|
|DNF||Alex Lowes||Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team||Yamaha YZF-R1|
|DNF||Javier Fores||Barni Racing Team||Ducati 1199 Panigale R|
|DNF||Alex de Angelis||IodaRacing Team||Aprilia RSV4 RF|