Marco Melandri says his first race win since 2014 in race two at Misano acts as a sweet reward for 'sacrifices' and 'difficult moments' getting up to speed on the Racing Ducati on his comeback to the World Superbike championship.

Melandri secured the 100th win in the series by an Italian, plus his first win with Ducati which came on home soil, to cap a frantic weekend which started in frustration after crashing from a podium place on the final lap.

Melandri produced an impressive charge from 10th on the grid at the start of race two to follow Xavi Fores and Jordi Torres in the opening phases. Once the front two dropped out of contention the Italian rider produced a measured performance to control the pace to the chequered flag for an emotional victory.

The victory marks his first race win since his last World Superbike campaign in 2014, when he went on to claim six wins for Aprilia, before his difficult stint in MotoGP with Aprilia ended after eight races.

"This win means so much to me. It's my first with Ducati and first on Italian soil but also the 100th by an Italian rider in WorldSBK," Melandri said. "It's the result of a lot of efforts, a composed attitude during some difficult moments, and great teamwork.

"We never stopped to believe in ourselves, and this result is a payback for all the sacrifices. We made a small change to our setup this morning, and before the start I was sure I could have a go at it. During the race, I tried to manage my pace and, once I took the lead, to ride smoothly."

Melandri also paid tribute to team-mate Chaz Davies who had to sit out of the race after his scary crash with Rea on the final lap of race one in which he sustained a fractured vertebrae.

"I hope Chaz recovers soon, he had a nasty crash but fortunately without serious injuries," he said. "I hope to be able to fight for another win, this time with him on track as well, at Laguna Seca."



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