BMW got its first taste of World Superbike victory today in the first of two races at Donington Park in England with Marco Melandri beating his BMW teammate Leon Haslam to the line for the win.
For most of the race it was a four-way battle for the lead with Melandri, Haslam, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes and Aprilia’s Max Biaggi going toe to toe. In the end, however, it was Melandri beating Haslam to the line by .728 of a second to give the S 1000RR its first win after three years and 89 races of trying. It was also Melandri’s second career World Superbike race, his first coming at Donington a year ago on the factory Yamaha.
Haslam, meanwhile, recovered from an off-track excursion through the gravel to beat Sykes for the runner-up spot. Sykes held on for third with a battle for fourth going to Honda’s Jonathan Rea over Biaggi, the Northern Irelander making up a lot of ground in the closing stages.
Biaggi’s fifth was enough to keep him in the championship points leads – barely. He now leads Sykes by just a single point.
World Champion Carlos Checa rode to a lonely sixth with his teammate Davide Giugliano seventh.
Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati’s Sylvain Guintoli was eighth with Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier and BMW Motorrad Italia’s Michel Fabrizio rounding out the top 10 finishers.
Biaggi’s Aprilia teammate Eugene Laverty had a miserable race, the Irishman finishing 15th.
1. Marco Melandri (BMW)
2. Leon Haslam (BMW)
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
6. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
7. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
8. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
9. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
10. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)