Melandri edges Rea to claim Phillip Island double

Marco Melandri

Marco Melandri claimed his first double race victory in World Superbikes since 2014 with a last-lap move on Jonathan Rea in race two in Australia on Sunday.

It was the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider’s first double race victory in World Superbikes since 2014.

A revised race two was completed with a mandatory pit stop after earlier issues with Pirelli tyres, and the majority of the grid carried out trouble-free tyre changes at the mid-race stage.

The pit stops caused the pack to shuffle around on several occasions, but Melandri was able to work his way to the front in the closing stages of the race by employing a similar strategy to the one he employed in race one.

Hot on three-time world champion Rea’s heels on the final lap, Melandri completed a passing move before winning a sprint to the finish line, edging the Kawasaki rider by just 0.021s.

As for Rea, who has been struggling with illness this weekend, this is the first time he hasn’t led the World Superbike championship since the Qatar 2014 round.

Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores nearly pulled off the improbable when he found himself in the lead in the closing stages, but he faded late and had to settle for third – still equal to his best-ever WSBK finish.

Tom Sykes claimed fourth place for Kawasaki following his second place in Saturday’s opener.

Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes stole fifth place from Red Bull Honda’s Leon Camier at the chequered flag.

It was a day to forget for factory Ducati’s Chaz Davies, who led the race after his pit stop but dropped out of contention on the first lap after his tyre changes following a low-side crash.

Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) also went down on the day, and eventually crossed the line in 15th place.

Times

1. Marco Melandri ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale R 22 laps
2. Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10RR +0.021s
3. Xavi Fores ESP Barni Ducati Panigale R +0.304s
4. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10RR +1.488s
5. Alex Lowes GBR PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 +2.474s
6. Leon Camier GBR Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2 +2.745s
7. Michael van der Mark NED PATA Yamaha YZF-R1 +3.098s
8. Jordi Torres ESP MV Agusta 1000 F4 +14.301s
9. Loris Baz FRA Althea BMW S1000RR +14.361s
10. Toprak Razgatlioglu TUR Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-10RR +19.785s
11. Roman Ramos ESP Team GoEleven Kawasaki ZX-10RR +25.237s
12. Leandro Mercado ARG Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki ZX-10RR +40.504s
13. Jake Gagne USA Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2 +58.923s
14. PJ Jacobsen USA TripleM Honda CBR1000RR SP2 +1m
15. Eugene Laverty IRE Milwaukee Aprilia RSV4 +2 laps

Did not finish

Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale R
Ondrej Jezek CZE Guandalini Yamaha YZF-R1
Daniel Falzon AUS Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1

Did not start

Yonny Hernandez COL Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10RR
Troy Herfoss AUS Penrite Honda CBR1000RR SP2
Wayne Maxwell AUS Yamaha Racing Team YZF-R1
Lorenzo Savadori ITA Milwaukee Aprilia RSV4

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