WSBK Aus­tralia

Marco Me­landri, the Aruba.it Du­cati rider, sur­prised ev­ery­one with a dou­ble vic­tory at Phillip Is­land, Aus­tralia

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It was quIte a sea­son opener for Du­cati as their Ital­ian rider, Marco Me­landri, went on to win both the races over the week­end at phillip Is­land. Here is how it all un­folded.

Race One

the first event of the 2018 world su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship (wsBK) at phillip Is­land in aus­tralia was an ex­cit­ing one as Marco Me­landri put on a great show for the fans. Me­landri started the race from the third row but, on the very first lap, man­aged to zip past as many as six riders to com­plete the lap in p3. ahead of Me­landri was the Kawasaki duo of tom sykes, who was lead­ing, and Jonathan rea, who was run­ning in p2.

For the first 14 laps, the top three po­si­tions stayed un­changed. on lap 15, how­ever, Me­landri zipped past rea to p2 af­ter the

de­fend­ing cham­pion ran into tyre wear prob­lems. Four laps later, Me­landri took the lead as sykes, too, fell vic­tim to tyre wear. From there the Ital­ian never looked back and main­tained a con­sis­tent pace to win the first race of the sea­son by a mar­gin of 1.1 sec­onds. Krt rider tom sykes man­aged the sec­ond place af­ter try­ing hard to re­claim the lead from Me­landri. the third place went to Me­landri’s team-mate, Chaz Davies, who, af­ter run­ning fifth for most of the race, moved to third in the penul­ti­mate lap, push­ing Xavi Fores of Barni Du­cati to fourth. Jonathan rea even­tu­ally fin­ished fifth.

Race TwO

the sec­ond event of the week­end was com­par­a­tively more ex­cit­ing as Me­landri fought his way to clinch his first dou­ble vic­tory since 2014.

the open­ing laps saw eu­gene Laverty of Mil­wau­kee aprilia lead for two laps; how­ever, the 31-year-old was pushed to the last spot fol­low­ing a fall. aruba.it Du­cati’s Chaz Davies, who was lead­ing the race af­ter the manda­tory pit-stop in­tro­duced af­ter tyre trou­bles in race one, also suf­fered a nasty fall mid-way into the race. af­ter Davies’s fall, Xavi Fores of Barni Du­cati took the lead on lap 13. He led the race for seven laps, af­ter which Jonathan rea, who was run­ning third, made a move and moved to p2.

on the 20th lap, rea took the lead with Me­landri right on his tail. Both fought closely on the penul­ti­mate lap. on the fi­nal lap, Me­landri and rea were neck and neck be­fore the Ital­ian pulled a fast one on rea right at the fin­ish line, tak­ing the win by 0.021 sec­onds. this was Me­landri’s first dou­ble win since 2014 and also the first time since 2014 that rea wasn’t lead­ing the cham­pi­onship.

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