Melandri takes race one win


Aprilia’s Marco Melandri snatched the World Superbike race one win, from his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli at Jerez. There would appear that there were no team orders in their garage, as the Frenchman is the only rider out of the pair who could realistically contest for the championship. But the diminutive Italian powered on ahead to take the victory, with Ducati’s Chaz Davies bagging the final step on the podium in what was a solid race for the tall Welshman. With Guintoli's second-place finish it closes the gap on current championship leader Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, by 35 points, as he could only muster up a fifth-place finish, behind Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea. It was Melandri who had a superb start from the second row, and got the hole shot ahead of the Kawasaki’s. But his team-mate paced on ahead with Guintoli taking the lead from Sito Pons, with Voltcom Suzuki's Alex Lowes ploughing through the grid to go into third, then up to second after getting the better of Loris Baz. But a lap later Baz fought back to regain second, behind his fellow compatriot. Guintoli. On lap four the Ducati's were fighting it out with fourth place changing between Giugliano and Davies. Baz was pushing ever closer to fellow Frenchman, Guintoli and at Ferrari made a move to lead the opening race for the first time this morning, after five laps. After a strong start Lowes fell back and Davies got the better of the Brit and went into fourth at Sito Pons on the sixth rotation. Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea was slowly making his way through the field, he began the race in tenth, and had Lowes as his target and soon overtook the rookie, with team-mate, Leon Haslam quickly following suit. Meanwhile at the front the Frenchman was not giving up on the win, with Guintoli retaking the lead on the eighth lap at Ferrari. Elsewhere Melandri was closing in on his former BMW team-mate Davies to edge ahead to nab fourth at Sito Pons, with Giugliano charging ahead in third. At the halfway point, current championship leader Sykes was struggling in seventh, with Rea edging ahead of the Yorkshireman to go into sixth. With nine laps remaining Italian’s Melandri and Giugliano were both vying for third, with the smaller of the pair taking third coming out of the back straight. But Giugliano crashed while trying to make a move on his fellow Roman and was stuck in the gravel, missing out on a potential podium finish. The Ducati man was not the only rider to crash as Lowes fell at the opening corner, with championship contender, Baz falling moments later on the same lap but at Sito Pons. With four laps remaining, the Aprilia pairing were pacing on ahead on third place Davies, with the diminutive form of Melandri snatching the lead from the England-based Frenchman on the approach into turn one. On the final lap Melandri did not slow down and won the maximum 25 points, and behind him at the flag Davies took third, with Rea winning the British battle for fourth, after successfully holding off the chargers from Sykes and Voltcom Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty. Haslam, Elias, Salom and Barrier completed to top ten, with the Kawasaki of Salom taking the Evo class spoils from his French rival.