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Lorenzo Savadori has taken his first Superstock 1000 Cup victory of the year after prevailing in a thrilling - and occasionally boisterous - five-way battle for glory at Monza.
An exciting encounter that was reduced to a breathless seven lap sprint after the first start was curtailed by a red flag-inducing first corner accident, four riders would each get their turn at the front over the course of the race, but it was Savadori who would cling on when it counted.
Indeed, the race would prove dramatic from the off when fast-starting BMW GoldBet rider Greg Gildenhuys launched himself from seventh to second into the first corner chicane, only to lose the rear of his S1000RR. Clipping the rear of Eddi La Marra's Ducati, Gildenhuys was thrown into a high-side that would leave both rider and bike stricken on the circuit.
More significantly for the championship battle, however, his series leading team-mate Sylvain Barrier – who had dominated the Monza timesheets right up to the race – was also down at the first corner, the pole sitting Frenchman punished for a poor start when he was swiped out by the low-siding Leandro Mercado. Though the red flag was quickly deployed and a complete restart called, neither Gildenhuys nor Barrier would make the restart.
With the championship leader out of the reckoning, the restart would see both Barni Ducatis of La Marra and Niccolo Canepa get away fastest, ahead of Jeremy Guarnoni, Savadori (up from ninth on the grid), Matthieu Lussiana, Michele Magnoni and Romain Lanusse.
It was a septet that would proceed to pull away as the race wore on, though the battle for the lead was only ever between the Ducatis of La Marra and Canepa, and the Kawasakis of Guarnoni and Savadori.
What followed was an interesting battle of strengths, with the Ducati proving substantially better into and out of the corners, only for the Kawasakis to often draft by in a straight line.
With the lead changing hands constantly, often after a few heart-stopping three-abreast moments into the first corner chicane, the critical moment would come when Savadori snatched the lead at the Parabolica heading into the penultimate lap.
Nosing in front, Savadori wouldn't be headed thereafter, with arguably his strongest rival La Marra ruled out when a three-way into the first corner chicane involving himself, Guarnoni and Magnoni would see him eased onto the kerbs and down to fourth place.
As such, Savadori would have Guarnoni and Canepa for company on the final lap, but Canepa's efforts to get in front of the Frenchman would ultimately allow Savadori the breathing room he needed to power out of the final corner and across the line as the race winner.
A timely result for Savadori, who scored his first SSTK win at Monza last season with Barni Ducati, it is also the first success for Team Pedercini and Kawasaki in 2013.
Behind him, the fight for second went down to the wire, with Canepa edging ahead of Guarnoni through the Parabolica, only for the latter rider to nose back ahead on the run to the line, ensuring Kawasaki would be celebrating a 1-2.
Unsettled by Magnoni's move, La Marra had to settle for fourth place, ahead of his wild-card sparring partner, while Lussiana and Lanusse maintained a close watching brief in sixth and seventh. Behind them, Christoffer Bergman – a podium winner at Monza last season – was eighth, ahead of Mercado and Ondrej Jezek.
In the overall standings, Canepa now leads the way despite having not won a race as yet, three points ahead of La Marra, while Barrier is now seven points in arrears after his failure to start.