WSB Race One: Melandri wins thrilling first race in Portimão

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Marco Melandri took his second win of the year in today’s first of two races in a much dryer Portimão.

A good start from Tom Sykes – starting from pole – saw him chased by an initial surge from Eugene Laverty with the pair trading the advantage until his Aprilia expired in a cloud of smoke, ending his race and leaving Melandri to take over the battle with Sykes for the lead.

With Marco Melandri having managed to take the lead moments earlier, an aggresive pass with five laps to go saw Sykes snatch it back from the Italian, BMW Motorrad rider, forcing him onto the kerb and allowing Sylvain Guintoli on the remaining Aprilia to push through into second behind the Kawasaki KRT Brit.

Guintoli soon marched himself into first place with a move on Sykes that also gave a now chasing Melandri the opportunity to sneak into second.

The gap between Sykes in third at the lead two began to widen and with Guintoli and Melandri trading positions over the final two laps it was left to a final dash to the flag to determine the winner – with just seven-thousandths of a second enough to crown Melandri as the victor of race one.

Elsewhere on the grid, Jonathan Rae – who qualified excellently in third – saw technical issues force his Pata-Honda to withdraw mid-race. Leon Camier faired much better with a strong, consistent ride bringing him home a solid, fourth-place finish.

Speaking after the race, an upbeat Sykes spoke about his troubles with traction, “I enjoyed the race but we had some limitations. I’m sure there are one or two changes we can make to give a better race in the next one.”

Sylvain Quintoli enjoyed his battle with Tom and Marco, “I feel a little disapointed in losing the win but I feel that this race showed good spirit and I’m happy overall with what was an entertaining ride”.

“It was an awesome race at the beginning”, offered a naturally, beaming Melandri, “At first, I thought Eugene could go for the win. But at the end I just did my best, lap by lap and Sylvain passed me in a difficult turn. Fortunately I came back for my second win of the season”.

Portimao – FIM Superbike World Championship – Race 1
1. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 38’12.447
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’12.454
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 38’16.671
4. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 38’21.926
5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 38’24.504
6. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 38’29.057
7. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’33.797
8. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 38’34.784
9. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 38’36.109
10. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 39’39.442
11. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 39’39.566
12. Ivan Clementi (HTM Racing) BMW S1000 RR 39’41.543
13. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 38’36.153
RT. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 33’35.596
RT. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 19’02.014
RT. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 16’03.234
RT. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 13’51.476
RT. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 10’48.699
RT. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 8’43.052
Steve Hunt

By Steve Hunt