In the final stages of the last lap Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) crashed out of the lead and was hit by Rea, with Rea able to pick up his bike to finish third, behind winner Sykes and second placed Lowes. Moments before that incident Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) also crashed out when fighting for a podium finish and he would ultimately finish 15th.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) also spectacularly crashed out at turn 13 with 7 laps to go, with Rea close by, after the Dutchman had led for most of the race. Van der Mark took over at the front from provisional leader Rea in the early stages and had built up a big lead at one stage before his advantage decreased and then he went down.
Behind Sykes, Lowes and Rea the top five also featured Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team).
Meanwhile in the first race of the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round, Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven), Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team) were all in the top ten.
There were retirements for Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing). Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) crashed late on but remounted to finish 11th.
Race 2 at the #RiminiWorldSBK round takes place at 1pm on Sunday.
1st - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
"It was a different win but it was 25 points all the same. For this way we have to be happy, I arrived on my limit, we knew the tyre never had the push but this is racing. The guys at the front were incredibly fast but we arrived at our limit, understood it and rode around it."
2nd - Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
"It was really lucky to get the podium, but the main things are that the guys are alright as the conditions were really tricky out there. I was really happy with my pace and I was doing as good laps as I have done all weekend on lap 20, so you have to be there at the end I'm enjoying the moment."
3rd - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
"It was a crazy race, I was settling my pace as Van der Mark crashed. I ran off track which allowed everyone to catch me again and I did everything I could to plan a last lap attack, into the last corner. But once Davies crashed, unfortunately I hit him I'm so sorry for this but I had nowhere to go. Right now I am thinking about him and I hope he's ok."