Newly-crowned World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea battled for a race one victory in Jerez to extend his lead at the top of the riders' standings.

The Northern Irishman, who wrapped up his third successive world championship at Magny-Cours last time out, took advantage of pole sitter Marco Melandri's retirement from the front with four laps to go in Spain.

Kawasaki's Rea took control from the restart - after the race was red flagged on the opening lap - but Italian Melandri wrestled back control on his Ducati as Tom Sykes and fellow Brit Chaz Davies fought over third.

Melandri held a 1.074-second advantage over Rea with six laps remaining but suffered a technical issue two laps later and Rea made the most of his rival's disappointment as he clinched the win.

Davies (Ducati) and Kawasaki team-mate Sykes came home second and third respectively to complete an all-British podium.

Alex Lowes (Yamaha) crossed the line fourth ahead of team-mate Michael van der Mark with 2014 world champion Sylvain Guintoli (Kawasaki) sixth. Aprilia duo Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty and Spanish pair Xavi Fores (Ducati) and Roman Ramos (Kawasaki) completed the top 10.

The race was initially halted following a crash between Kawasaki's Ayrton Badovini and Raffaele de Rosa (BMW) at turn six on the opening lap.

Neither driver returned to the grid and it was confirmed Badovini sustained a left collar bone fracture and concussion as a result of the accident. The Italian was transported to the ASISA Hospital for further tests.