As such, the fight for the win would see Sykes, Melandri and Laverty go head-to-head, the latter having successfully collected himself after his mid-race lull.
More than that, Laverty would even go on to push back ahead as they entered the final lap, pulling Melandri past Sykes as well down the home straight.
With Sykes dispatched, Melandri quickly made his move on Laverty, passing into Roggia, only for the Irishman to get back ahead with a bold pass into Ascari.
With just the long Parabolica corner remaining, Melandri – roared on by the partisan crowd - inevitably dived for the inside, easing his former team-mate out wide in a move reminiscent to two years ago when Laverty beat Melandri to victory on the Yamaha.
Subsequently opening up the door for the close-following Sykes, the Kawasaki man attempted to get the better run out of the corner, but Melandri would have just enough to speed to get him to the finish line first.
In the end, Melandri would win by just 0.085secs, with Laverty having to make do with third position 0.107secs from a win he was so close to.
Despite losing out to Melandri, Sykes and Laverty have at least benefitted in the overall standings, Guintoli's fade to fourth allowing them to close to 21 and 25 points respectively.
Behind Guintoli, the fight for fifth was initially an engaging three-way tussle between Chaz Davies, Davide Giugliano and Rea. A bright start from Rea had him up to second initially, but a mistake on the second lap would see him slip into the chasing pack.
However, a run on at turn one whilst battling Davies would see him lose position even before stewards decree he must drop two more positions for cutting the chicane. He would eventually recover to eighth.
With Davide Giugliano also suffering a chicane run on, albeit without penalty, Davies was free to secure fifth position, ahead of Michel Fabrizio, Loris Baz and a hapless Rea.