Melandri takes shock win

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Marco Melandri took the win at the Australian Grand Prix in an unpredictable race full of drama, as wet weather saw the first appearance of the white flag wet weather rule.

It was Shinya Nakano who led from the start, as title leader Nicky Hayden made a howler and dropped down to 16th from pole. Colin Edwards and Sete Gibernau were trying to chase Nakano, but the Kawasaki rider continued to pull away. But all this would change as the white flag was brought out, and with Nakano the last to enter the pits, his advantage was lost.

After the restart, Gibernau, Chris Vermeulen, Carlos Checa and Nicky Hayden were the early leaders, until Checa crashed out of contention. Melandri moved into the lead to take the win from Vermeulen, with Valentino Rossi slipping past Sete Gibernau into third. His podium place made up another five points on title leader Hayden, who finished in fifth, with Casey Stoner sixth. A disapointed Nakano finished in eight, while Dani Pedrosa’s title chances may have ended for his rookie year, as he came across the line in 15th.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff