Melandri Steps Up For Big Superbike Victory

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Marco Melandri crosses the finish line to win Sunday's World Suprebike feature at Moscow Raceway in Russia. (World Superbike Photo)
Marco Melandri crosses the finish line to win Sunday’s World Suprebike feature at Moscow Raceway in Russia. (World Superbike Photo)

MOSCOW – Marco Melandri of BMW Motorrad Goldbet is back on the top step of the podium after winning Sunday’s World Superbike event at Moscow Raceway.

Melandri’s third win this season means a big step up in the points for the Italian, who is now 32 points away from new championship leader Sylvain Guintoli of Aprilia Racing Team.

Constantly changing weather conditions and several DNFs played a huge factor in today’s first race, with 2013 flag-to-flag rules that came into place. The Italian, along with several other riders in the top positions, pulled in for a tire change at the end of lap 20 as the rain got heavier, making almost impossible to ride on slick compounds.

Thanks to a formidable pit-stop performed by his crew, Melandri closed the gap on the leader and teammate Chaz Davies, eventually getting to first position and pulling away to cross the line a lonely winner. Davies, on the other hand, led most of the race, showing great skills on both dry and mixed conditions.

Ayrton Badovini brought the 1199 Panigale R to a long-awaited first podium finish, thanks to an impressive performance in the last part of the race. The former STK1000 Champion found himself at ease on soaked wet conditions to edge out Jonathan Rea while entering the penultimate lap.

Tom Sykes’ second technical problem of the weekend resulted in a no-score for the Brit, as his bike stopped and got on fire during the fourth lap.

The second World Superbike race scheduled for Sunday in Moscow was cancelled after Andrea Antonelli was killed during an incident in the Supersport race.