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Misano WSBK: Melandri scores first win since return

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Misano WSBK: Melandri scores first win since return
By:
Jun 18, 2017, 11:43 AM

Ducati's Marco Melandri took his first win since returning to the World Superbike championship, overtaking Jordi Torres to triumph in the second Misano race.

Marco Melandri, Ducati Team
Marco Melandri, Ducati Team
Marco Melandri, Ducati Team
Jordi Torres, Althea Racing
Jordi Torres, Althea Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing

The 34-year-old Italian went from 10th to first in the race where he was the only representative of the works Ducati team, after Chaz Davies was ruled out of the weekend in a Saturday last-lap collision with Jonathan Rea.

A Superbikes frontrunner between 2011 and 2014, Melandri – who stepped in for Davide Giugliano at Ducati this year – has now added a win with the Italian marque to his triumphs with Yamaha, BMW and Aprilia.

At the start, Barni Ducati rider Xavi Fores stormed past pole-sitting compatriot Torres on the run down to T1, as Saturday race winner Tom Sykes charged from ninth on the grid to fourth.

Sykes was soon up to third, overtaking Aprilia's Eugene Laverty at Turn 9, with teammate Rea following through.

But further progress would prove much difficult for the pair of works Kawasakis, as Torres kept the pair at bay. Holding off Sykes for a number of laps, the Althea BMW rider then went on the attack instead, picking off Fores at Turn 12 on the fifth lap.

Fores followed the new race leader close over the rest of the tour, but his Ducati bike gave out the next time around, leaving Torres at the helm of a four-bike pack.

Melandri was running third at that point already, having overtaken Rea, and when Sykes got too close to Torres under braking at Turn 8 and ran wide, the Ducati works rider was up to second.

He was briefly gapped by Torres, but was soon right on the rear wheel of the Althea BMW, making his first serious attempt on lap 10 at Turn 8 and managing to complete the pass at the very same corner three laps later.

But instead of dropping into the clutches of the Kawasakis, Torres managed to keep in touch with Melandri and was even bringing the gap down when his Althea BMW slowed with a mechanical issue with four laps to go.

This promoted Rea up to second, the championship leader having passed Sykes at Variante del Parco on lap 15 and withstanding a late charge from his teammate to hold on to the runner-up spot.

Yamaha's Michael van der Mark, who led much of the Saturday race but crashed out with a suspected rear-wheel issue, bounced back with a fourth-place finish.

Van der Mark followed teammate Alex Lowes for much of the race, but got past the Brit when Lowes ran wide trying to pass Laverty.

While Aprilia man Laverty slipped behind both Yamahas, he eventually managed to score his first top-five finish of the season after Lowes crashed out ahead.

Torres' Althea BMW teammate Raffaele de Rosa scored his season's best result so far in seventh, ahead of Randy Krummenacher, Leandro Mercado and the sole factory Honda of Stefan Bradl.

Race results

Cla#RiderBikeLapsTimeGap
1 33 italy Marco Melandri Ducati 21 33'40.896  
2 1 united_kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 21 33'42.009 1.113
3 66 united_kingdom Tom Sykes Kawasaki 21 33'42.181 1.285
4 60 netherlands Michael van der Mark Yamaha 21 33'54.260 13.364
5 50 ireland Eugene Laverty Aprilia 21 34'00.813 19.917
6 32 italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 21 34'06.915 26.019
7 35 italy Raffaele De Rosa BMW 21 34'10.620 29.724
8 88 switzerland Randy Krummenacher Kawasaki 21 34'11.079 30.183
9 36 argentina Leandro Mercado Aprilia 21 34'18.343 37.447
10 6 germany Stefan Bradl Honda 21 34'23.547 42.651
11 86 italy Ayrton Badovini Kawasaki 21 34'38.420 57.524
12 37 czech_republic Ondrej Jezek Kawasaki 21 34'51.550 1'10.654
  81 spain Jordi Torres BMW 17 4 laps 4 laps
  2 united_kingdom Leon Camier MV Agusta 14 7 laps 7 laps
  22 united_kingdom Alex Lowes Yamaha 11 10 laps 10 laps
  15 san_marino Alex de Angelis Kawasaki 6 15 laps 15 laps
  12 spain Xavi Fores Ducati 6 15 laps 15 laps
  61 italy Fabio Menghi Ducati 6 15 laps 15 laps
  40 spain Roman Ramos Kawasaki 3 18 laps 18 laps

 

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