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Marco Melandri has won his third World Superbike Championship race of the season after coming out top of an intense final lap scrap between himself, Eugene Laverty, Chaz Davies and Max Biaggi.
Laverty had looked on course for his first Aprilia victory as he led into the last revolution, but Melandri's ambitious pass half-way around the lap would prove decisive for him to keep the Irishman at bay to the chequered flag.
A thrilling conclusion to a race that built in tension over the opening three-quarters, the encounter would also exceed initial expectations of another two-way tussle between the BMW rider and race one winner Biaggi.
Indeed, while Laverty led during the early laps, it was anticipated that Biaggi and Melandri would simply move away into a race of their own once again after getting through by lap six.
However, Laverty was benefitting from a more suitable tyre choice after dropping back considerably during the first race, the Irishman not only re-passing Melandri on lap eight, but scything ahead of Aprilia team-mate Biaggi on lap ten to regain the lead.
Though Melandri would squeeze between the two RSV4s on lap 12, Laverty was holding firm up front and showing no sign of a drop in pace as the lead trio lapped in tandem.
Even so, few were anticipating the threat that was to come from an inspired Davies, whose magnificent mid-race pace had not only gotten him to the front of a busy chasing pack, but was even hauling him back into lead contention. Indeed, the Welshman – aided by a terrific series of figures through the speed traps – would find three seconds to get himself onto the tail of the leaders with just five laps remaining.
With the victory battle inflated to a four-way scrap, the intensity ramped up when both Melandri and Biaggi found a way past Laverty on lap 15, before Biaggi nosed back into the lead by out-dragging Melandri down the long back-straight.