Marco Melandri produces dramatic home victory
BMW Motorrad rider Marco Melandri secured his first win of the World Superbike season after edging Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty in a sensational three-way scrap at Monza.
The Italian had to work hard for the victory on home soil, taking the chequered flag by a tenth of a second from Sykes and Laverty, after a titanic tussle that saw him enter the final lap in third place.
Polesitter Sykes was unable to keep his works Kawasaki at the head of the field at the start as Aprilia’s Laverty reacted best to the lights and grabbed the lead on the run down to the first chicane.
Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea snatched second with Melandri slotting in third just ahead of Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli.
An error from Rea allowed the top four to break away from the chasing pack and and it wasn’t long before Guintoli slipped past Sykes for third position.
The move sparked a charge from the Frenchman as he then overtook Melandri at Roggia, before surging into the lead at the Parabolica.
Melandri and Sykes tried to follow in Guintoli’s wheel tracks by passing Laverty for second a third respectively before the start of lap 10.
Melandri continued his charge and he then took the lead on lap 11 at Roggia chicane.
The Italian’s time at the front was short-lived as Guintoli sparked back into life and stormed passed Melandri for the lead with Sykes also following into second.
The Brit then passed Guintoli before Melandri issued a response by overtaking Guintoli and Sykes.
Laverty soon ignited his charge by passing Guintoli, who began to fall back and lose touch with the top three.
As the laps ticked down, the battle for the win emerged as a three horse race between Melandri, Sykes and Laverty.
Assen race winner Laverty began the final lap in the lead and his late charge was seemingly well-timed. But Melandri found a way passed Sykes and the Italian stalked the race leader before passing him at Roggia.
However, he was unable to hold on and Laverty regained the lead at Ascari.
With just one corner remaining, Melandri dived passed Laverty at the final corner and roared on by the crowd he took the flag from Sykes, who pipped Laverty and was just 0.085 seconds behind the race winner.
Guintoli cruised to the line in fourth with Chaz Davies holding off Michel Fabrizio for sixth. Loris Baz came home in seventh ahead of Rea, who was penalised two places for running on at the chicane.
Leon Camier and Davide Giugliano rounded out the top town, while Australian Mark Aitchison crossed the line in 16th position.
Race 1 Results
Race 2 Results
|13||Federico Sandi||Kawasaki||1 Lap|
2013 Championship Standings