The Welshman got off to a strong start from third row, passing several riders to get within the top three half-way through the race and cross the finish line in third position, just one second behind the winner.
Marco Melandri showed resilience despite some stability issues that, after a strong start, forced him to lose contact with the front group. The Italian finished in sixth position, scoring important points for the championship.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team, was forced to abandon the race after crashing out at turn 7 in the early laps, when he was within reach of the top ten despite starting from 15th position on the grid.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action tomorrow at 09:35 local time (CET) for a warm-up session ahead of Race 2, which is scheduled to start at 13:00.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 3rd
"Race 1 was a tough fight, from the first until the last lap. I'm really happy with this result, considering that we struggled a bit both during free-practice and Superpole. Once I managed to come back through the field, I was just following Rea and stayed with him when he picked up the pace. Then, VdMark passed me and in the final laps we were struggling with grip so nobody was in a position to attack and we all basically kept our positions. It's been a learning process during the race, and I want to put it all into good use for tomorrow in Race 2."
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 6th
"Despite a good performance yesterday and during Superpole, unfortunately I faced another difficult race. On Friday our stability issues are never so apparent, but they often get worse as the weekend progresses, and we still need to find a way to eliminate them. In these conditions I have to ride more physically and I waste energies, and also I need to ease off the throttle here and there. Today we couldn't do more. We're all working really hard but we need a big change to fight for top positions again."
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21) – DNF
"I was trying to save the tires for the second half of the race but, as I was picking up the pace, I hit a bump on the brakes at turn 7 and lost the front. It was a big crash but physically I'm OK. This is also a learning experience, and luckily we can bounce back in Race 2."
Marco Zambenedetti, Technical Coordinator on track for Ducati Corse
"It was a tough race, in which we barely missed the win with Chaz, who was really strong despite some issues during practice. Marco also gave his all out there, as usual, but we're still working to put him in the best conditions to express his full potential. Surely we won't give up, and we want to do better in Race 2."