|(June 18, 2017)- At the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round on Sunday it was home rider Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who took a stunning first win of 2017, with Kawasaki Racing Team pair Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes also on the podium.
Responding positively to his last lap crash in Race 1, Melandri came from tenth on the grid to return to winning ways with a +1.113s victory over Rea. It was Melandri’s first WorldSBK win since 2014 and the 100th victory for an Italian rider in the top class of the championship.
The second place result for World Champion Rea strengthened his title defence as he now leads the standings by 50 points after seven rounds. It was also a successful weekend for Sykes as he followed up on his Race 1 win with another podium result to continue his excellent recent form.
Starting from pole Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) had held the lead for eight laps but he was hugely frustrated to drop out of the race with a technical problem with just three laps to go when riding in second place.
The top five was completed by Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), with the Dutchman crossing the line fourth and the Irishman fifth.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) completed the top ten.
Only 12 riders finished the race at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, with the likes of Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) all retiring with technical problems.
With 10 laps to go Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) went down at Turn 2 and he was unable to finish the race.
After his crash in Race 1 Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was unfit to race on Sunday, having suffered a closed thoracic trauma, a fracture of the transverse process of L3 (3rd lumbar vertebrae) and a contusion of the left thumb.
The WorldSBK riders will next be in action at the Geico US Round over the 7th to 9thJuly weekend.
P1 – Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“It was not easy, I had so many good races at the beginning of the season and then we dropped off, but we made some good changes after the test so the bike works a lot better for me. To win here and in front of all of Ducati, all my family and friends is unbelievable for me to explain.”
P2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
“Honestly the race was very difficult and I didn’t have too much more pace to give .We only made some minor changes to yesterday, but the bike felt completely different. I am happy with the result but disappointed in the bike and myself. At the mid point of the season its good to get a good set of points under our belts.”
P3 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
“Today I was a lot closer but I am disappointed in the early laps, for some reason I use the bike and tyres to their full potential. We made some good passes early on, but when we got to Torres and Fores I wanted to go but I didn’t have the rear traction. However the positive is that we had a good weekend in general.”