Melandri snatches first WSBK win

Smrz led into the final two laps but would fall prey to a charging Melandri as he took victory from ninth position on the grid.
Marco Melandri has taken a stunning first World Superbike Championship victory in only his third race after hunting down and passing Jakub Smrz in the closing stages at Donington Park.

The Italian put in an aggressive performance as he fought his way up the field, the Yamaha man defying his fairly lowly ninth position on the grid to systematically claw his way up the order.

However, it still took a late charge to deny Jakub Smrz, the Czech rider getting to within a lap of winning his first World Superbike race after leading for 17 of the 23 laps.

Far from making up ground at the start of the race, Melandri crossed the line still in ninth position at the end of the opening lap.

Instead, it was Leon Haslam that led into the opening bend, followed by Leon Camier, who pushed his way up to second position in the shuffle down the Craner Curves. By the end of the lap, the pair were being chased by Noriyuki Haga, Smrz, Jonathan Rea, Troy Corser, Max Biaggi and Melandri.

Pole sitter Carlos Checa's hopes of maintaining his winning streak were scuppered into the Old Hairpin as a wide entry dropped him down to ninth position. He was then forced to sit up by Biaggi into the last corner, leaving the Spaniard down to 11th by the end of the opening lap.

Up front, Haslam was attempting to stretch away, but was unable to shake Camier and Haga with him, the Japanese rider putting in his most convincing performance yet on the PATA Racing Aprilia.

Indeed, while the BMW rider was confident of leading from the front, it became evident that he did not have the pace of those directly behind. As such, Smrz and Sykes were soon on the back of the lead group and poised to take advantage.

That came on lap five when Haga dived up the inside of Camier into the final corner, the pair making brief contact as Camier leaned in. The momentary loss of balance allowed Smrz to drag his way past down the home straight and into second position, while Camier was able to hold firm in what was now third.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Melandri, Donington WSBK 2011
Melandri, foot guard, Donington WSBK 2011
Melandri, foot guard, Donington WSBK 2011
Melandri, Donington WSBK 2011
Melandri, Donington WSBK 2011
Melandri, Donington WSBK 2011
[L-R]: Jakub Smrz, Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa, Donington Park WSBK podium, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
PArkes, Suzuka 8 houres, 2015
Parkes, Suzuka 8 houres, 2015
PArkes, Suzuka 8 houres, 2015
Sykes, Rea, Haslam, Race 2 , U.S. WSBK, 2015.
Sykes, Rea, Haslam, Torres, Race 2 , U.S. WSBK, 2015.
Rea, Sykes, Haslam, Race 2 , U.S. WSBK, 2015.
Camier, De Puniet, Race 2 , U.S. WSBK, 2015.
Sykes, Race 2 , U.S. WSBK, 2015.
Sykes, Race 2 , U.S. WSBK, 2015.
Rea, Race 2 , U.S. WSBK, 2015.
Rea, Race 2 , U.S. WSBK, 2015.

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MM - Unregistered

March 27, 2011 12:47 PM

Great see Marco scythe past Biaggi and take a well deserved win. Best revenge is success. Biaggi's always been a dirty rider and an arrogant figlio di puttana.

dave the don - Unregistered

March 27, 2011 12:51 PM
Last Edited 1584 days ago

For me there was probably only one thing that would make up for any Brits not making the podium, was to see Melandri stick one over Biaggi im true style Great race for Melandri, really well done, whereas Biaggi was absolutely bloody awful. Checa was having a right old stinker earlier on as well but got himself a podium somehow Got to feel sorry for Smrz but what a great ride from him. Hope Laverty is okay What on earth was was going on with Berger, I imagine that a mechanic was urgently scouring the garage floor for stray R clips before he got back there.

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