Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty gave Yamaha a fitting one-two finish in the team's World Superbike finale today in race two at Portimao in Portugal. With the team announcing earlier in the year that it wouldn't be back and with both riders set to move on with their careers elsewhere, it was a storybook finish for the Italian-based team.

Although Laverty led the most it was Melandri who led with it mattered, the Italian passing his teammate on the 18th of 22 laps and holding him off by just 1.075 seconds at the finish. For Melandri it was his fourth World Superbike win in his rookie season in the class. The Italian is headed to the factory BMW team for next year with Laverty announcing today he is set to join the Aprilia squad.

Third place, just .3 of a second behind Laverty, was Castrol Honda's Jonathan Rea. Rea was 1.3 seconds ahead of newly crowned World Champion and first-race winner Carlos Checa, who in turn again held off Effenbert-Liberty Ducati's Sylvain Guintoli. The Frenchman had come up just short of Checa in the first of two races held earlier at Portimao.Aprilia's Leon Camier ended up sixth - one spot better than Max Biaggi, who again had to start from 17th after missing out on Superpole yesterday. Biaggi scored just enough points to tie with Laverty for third in the championship, with Biaggi getting the spot based on tie-breakers.Kawasaki's Joan Lascorz was eighth with Ayrton Badovini the top BMW in ninth. Maxime Berger was 10th.Troy Corser, in his final World Superbike race, finished 16th.Checa ended the season a massive 110 points ahead of second-placed Melandri, 505-395. Biaggi and Laverty both ended the season on 303 points with Leon Haslam, despite a miserable day in Portugal, was fifth in the final series standings.Race 2

1.                  Marco Melandri (Yamaha)

2.                  Eugene Laverty (Yamaha)

3.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

4.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati)

5.                  Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)

6.                  Leon Camier (Aprilia)

7.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

8.                  Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki)

9.                  Ayrton Badovini (BMW)

10.                  Maxime Berger (Ducati)

 

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By Cycle News Staff

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