Melandri doubles up

33

Aprilia’s Marco Melandri bagged the maximum 50 points after doing the World Superbike double at Jerez. In both races he got the better of his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli, who is contention to clinch the title, whereas the diminutive Italian has less of a chance of bagging the championship title. Apparently there were no team orders from the Aprilia outfit, as Melandri's win prevented Guintoli from closing the gap on Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes in the overall championship standings. The Yorkshireman stayed in third, mostly unchallenged in the final part of the race, but Guintoli's double podium means that only 31 points now separate the two championship challengers. Initially it was Loris Baz who got the hole shot, with Melandri and Guintoli in hot pursuit, but Sykes was never far off the pace and was up to third by lap two. But a rotation later Guintoli took the lead going into the opening corner, with Davide Giugliano close behind. But the fiery Ducati man, fell while trying to make a move into the top three, and ended up in the gravel, and quickly retreated to the pits. Meanwhile while all the drama was happening at the sharp end, there was an intense battle for fifth, between Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea, Voltcom Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty and Baz. The trio were nearly touching throughout the whole race – but the Pata bike of Rea had that extra edge, and with four laps remaining got the better of Laverty to clinch fifth, with Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam, Voltcom Suzuki’s Alex Lowes and Red Devil Roma’s Toni Elias completing the top ten at the flag. Ducati’s Chaz Davies had another steady and consistently race. He was not able to catch up with Sykes to snatch another third place win, but had a rather lonely race to take fourth, to add to his points tally this afternoon. BMW Italia’s Sylvain Barrier won the Evo class race, but even though Kawasaki’s David Salom crashed during the final Superbike race of the day, he already did enough in race one to be crowned the Evo champion.