Melandri Secures First Double Victory
BRNO, Czech Republic – Marco Melandri of BMW Motorrad Motorsport used a double win Sunday at the Brno Circuit to close the gap in the eni FIM World Superbike Championship title chase.
This was Melandri’s first double as an SBK rider and the first double for the official BMW team. Melandri started from the second row in each race before chasing down Tom Sykes in both events.
Sykes was full of fight at one of his favorite tracks, particularly in race two, but could not contain Melandri, who successfully pegged back the championship lead of Max Biaggi to a much more manageable 21 points.
In race one, Melandri worked his way through the field from a mid-pack position in a race that started with many wet patches on the circuit, but finished in blazing sunshine.
Sykes finished second and his teammate, 19-year-old French rookie Loris Baz, finished third after a confident early few laps in tricky conditions.
Any chance Sykes had of getting back to Melandri for the win was dashed when he and Jonathan Rea collided entering a corner near the end of the race and Rea crashed out spectacularly.
“It was an amazing race. At the beginning everyone was careful because it was wet and they were on slicks,” said Melandri. “Then I was seventh or eighth but was catching the other guys and all I had to do was keep my rhythm. When I went in front with one lap and a half to go I just had to keep pushing without thinking of the others because I knew I was faster than them.”
In race two, Melandri made the final pass on long time leader Sykes on the final lap and had just enough of a gap in the final few corners to make sure the English rider would finish runner-up, if by only .140 second.
Checa had an eventual third place finish with championship leader Biaggi a lonely fourth. Laverty won a duel for fifth with Chaz Davies and Leon Haslam.
“I’m living in a dream, it’s a first time for me to get a double win,” Melandri said. “It’s something amazing at this track where nobody expected these results. It’s also fantastic to see BMW leading the constructors’ championship and it makes me very proud. No one expected we could catch Max and I’m still 21 points behind him in the table but we have to think day by day and today I’m enjoying my day.”
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