Marco Melandri says he can take positives away from Laguna Seca after claiming his third World Superbike win of the season, even if it did end with him crashing away a lead in race two.

Showing impressive race day pace on the Aprilia, a strong start from fifth place on the grid was critical to Melandri's route to victory in race one, the Italian assuming the lead on the opening lap when Tom Sykes subsequently made a mistake.

Pulling away to lead an Aprilia 1-2 from Sylvain Guintoli, Melandri was delighted to power on to claim a somewhat unexpected win.

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"My start in race one was great even if I was a bit nervous in the first laps since Tom usually tries to pull the pin straight away. When he made that mistake at the Corkscrew I thought that was the right opportunity to push it to the limit. I set my pace, staying focused and not making any mistakes."

Eager to make it a double in race two, two restarts from the front row gave Melandri ample opportunity to attempt another race win as he led both the aborted second start and the third.

However, having lost concentration as he battled with what he believed was problematic gear ratios, a mistake into the final turn on lap two would see Melandri slide off his Aprilia and into retirement.

A costly error that leaves him more than 100 points adrift of leader Sykes in the standings with only four rounds remaining, Melandri was nonetheless remaining upbeat.

"It's a shame about Race 2. I made a few gear changing mistakes on the third start that made me think there was a problem with the ratios and that cost me my concentration.

"When I realised that everything was fine I decided to push hard but I went long at the last turn. I'm disappointed because a double win was definitely within reach, but I'm still happy about the work we did this weekend."