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Marco Melandri has won BMW's first-ever World Superbike Championship race at Donington Park after prevailing in an intense four-way tussle with his team-mate Leon Haslam, Tom Sykes and Max Biaggi.
The front row starters were barely separated by more than a second throughout the race as they lapped in tandem, but it would take a mistake from Haslam with five laps remaining to give Melandri the breathing space he needed to go on for victory.
Marking BMW's first victory in 45 attempts, the manufacturer is also celebrating a 1-2 after Haslam fought back from his earlier mistake - when he ran across the gravel at Esses whilst battling with his team-mate - to snatch second from Sykes on the penultimate lap.
Prior to that, the trio - together with Biaggi - had embarked on a thrilling fight for positions, with Haslam initially taking the lead before Sykes pounced on lap four when the BMW rider ran wide into Goddards.
Keeping a close watching brief in third and fourth, adversaries Melandri and Biaggi were engaged in their own battle for supremacy, the latter getting the edge on lap ten at the Esses, only for his rival to respond immediately with a late dive into the Melbourne hairpin, Melandri even going as far to apologise to his countryman for the rather rash move.
Biaggi nosed ahead again on lap eleven with a dive up the inside at Starkey's, but Melandri chose the Melbourne hairpin again to get the position back.
With Haslam almost simultaneously doing the same to Sykes, Melandri was quickly charged into action as he also found a way past Sykes on lap 13, yet again at the Melbourne hairpin.
With the S1000RR now running 1-2, Melandri set about challenging his team-mate for the honour of securing BMW's first-ever WSBK victory, hinting at his intentions with a pass into Redgate on lap 16. Though Haslam countered that with a re-pass straight away, a similar overtake on lap 18 would prove more successful for the Italian.