News 25 Feb 2018

Melandri denies Rea for Phillip Island WorldSBK double

Flag-to-flag second race produces non-stop action on Sunday.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Wily Italian Marco Melandri has clinched the elusive Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) double at Phillip Island after drafting Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) to the line. Racing Ducati’s Melandri won race two by 0.021s ahead of reigning world champion Rea, with the impressive Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Ducati) cementing third.

With riders having to pit for a mandatory Pirelli tyre change by the end of lap 12, strategy came into effect and no less than eight riders – including wildcard Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team) – led a lap apiece. Disaster struck Chaz Davies when he crashed the second of the official Ducatis directly after pitting on lap 12.

The opening two laps were led by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) before he crashed in Siberia, remounting for a point in P15. As for Falzon, he was black-flagged for going further than the 12-lap tyre limit, disqualified out of the running as a result.

In the end it was an elated Melandri who opened the season in perfect fashion via both race wins from Rea and Fores today, while Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) were fourth and fifth behind the podium trio.

Places six through 10 featured Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda), Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha), Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Loris Baz (Gulf Althea BMW) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pucetti Racing Kawasaki).

Detailed results