The Kawasaki pairing of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes placed second and third respectively, only separated by a few tenths of a second as they chased the podium places.
The result leaves Rea with a 40-point championship lead heading into the second race on Sunday.
‰ÛÏIn the beginning I felt good with Chaz and I managed to close the gap down to him." Rea commented. "We have had some issues on the engine brake side and this caused me to run on. It was happening into the fast turn five and it took my confidence a little bit.
"When I made the mistake the gap changed. I am happy with my race because second is good as Chaz was on a different planet this morning. I was just happy to be there in the race at the beginning.
"I was the best of the rest today and now I‰Ûªm happy to look forward to tomorrow, as I am sure we can improve the bike setup. I hear some mixed weather forecasts, and that we could have some rain, so I hope we can be prepared for whatever we get.‰Û