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WORLD SUPERBIKES

Sykes & Melandri share the spoils at Misano

Race One

Tom Sykes has claimed the unlikeliest of wins after Chaz Davies fell from the lead which saw Jonathan Rea run into him on the final lap in a manic race one at Misano. After the opening two-thirds of the race were headed up by surprise package Michael van der Mark, only for the Pata Yamaha rider to fall from the lead on lap 15, it ignited a three-way fight for victory between Davies, Rea and Marco Melandri.

At the start of the final lap Melandri low-sided off to drop out of contention on his own, to see Rea hound down Davies. With three corners remaining, Davies appeared to also suffer a low-side fall as he tucked the front end of his Ducati and with the factory Kawasaki rider directly behind him he had nowhere to go but ride into the back of Davies. With the two leaders off, Sykes swept through to take victory in the most bizarre circumstances with Alex Lowes taking a second rostrum result of the season. Rea managed to remount his Kawasaki and claim the final podium spot, as Davies was attended to by the medical team after being hit hard by Rea's Kawasaki in the accident.

Before the last-lap dramatics, Davies had pulled a hard block pass on Rea for the lead with three laps remaining which also allowed Melandri through for second position. The Aruba.it Racing Ducati riders initially gapped Rea but the defending World Superbike champion regained his composure to slice down the deficit on the start of the final lap. Rea got underneath Melandri in the dive into turn one before the Italian rider tucked the front of his Ducati two laps later. With Rea on a charge, he was taken by surprise as Davies washed out the front-end which left the Northern Irish rider nowhere to go.

After remounting and finishing third, Rea went to check on the stricken Davies on his cool down lap. The Welsh rider has been taken to the medical centre as a precaution. Before the final-lap drama, van der Mark looked destined to be in the battle for victory but on lap 15 the Pata Yamaha suffered his heartbreak when he crashed out at turn 13 having looked to have suffered a tyre issue.

With the shaken-up finishing order Jordi Torres claimed his best result of the campaign in fourth place for Althea BMW with Xavi Fores in fifth for Barni Ducati.
Eugene Laverty grabbed sixth place for Milwaukee Aprilia ahead of Randy Krummenacher and Roman Ramos as Lorenzo Savadori and Raffaele De Rosa completed the top ten. Leon Camier endured a tricky race for MV Agusta in 11th place with Alex de Angelis in 12th. Ayrton Badovini, Ondrej Jezek and Melandri rounded out the points positions after Stefan Bradl had to pit after the opening lap with a technical issue on the Red Bull Honda.

Race Two

Marco Melandri has secured his first race win since 2014 with victory in race two at Misano to mark his maiden triumph for Aruba.it Racing Ducati. The Italian rider made up for falling on the final lap in race one to carve through the pack during the opening laps to line up behind Xavi Fores and pole-sitter Jordi Torres. After Fores was forced to retire with a mechanical issue, Melandri hunted down Torres and took the lead on lap 12 before quickly building a gap to the Althea BMW rider.

Torres then suffered heartbreak with a mechanical retirement of his own with three laps to go, giving Melandri a bigger cushion to the chasing factory Kawasaki riders. The Italian rider held his nerve for a first World Superbike win since 2014 in race two at Magney-Cours. Meladnri's win also marks Italy's 100th win in World Superbikes which has been made extra special coming on home soil at Misano.

With those ahead of him hitting issues, Jonathan Rea got the better of Kawasaki team-mate to claim second place and strengthen his World Superbike championship lead over Tom Sykes who had to settle for third. In a depleted World Superbike field and with Chaz Davies missing race two due to his fractured vertebrae suffered in race one, Michael van der Mark made up for the heartache of crashing from the lead of race one with a faulty tyre to take fourth place for Pata Yamaha but his team-mate Alex Lowes crashed out of sixth place at half distance.

Eugene Laverty grabbed his best result of the season for Milwaukee Aprilia with fifth place ahead of team-mate Lorenzo Savadori as Raffaele De Rosa claimed his personal best result of seventh place for Althea BMW. Randy Krummenacher grabbed eighth place for Puccetti Kawasaki ahead of Leandro Mercado as Stefan Bradl returned the Red Bull Honda to the top ten. Ayrton Badovini and Ondrej Jezek completed the points finishers for Grillini Kawasaki as only 12 riders made it home.

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