WSBK: Melandri does the double in Malaysia
The possible threat of a thunderstorm at Sepang disappeared providing the enthusiastic Malaysian crowd one of the most hotly contested battles for victory this season. With the air temperature rising, the race was initially red flagged after the MV Agusta of Claudio Corti expired resulting in a small fire that needed to be extinguished by the track side marshals.
With only 3 full laps completed the grid for the restart was determined by the positions at the end of lap 3 meaning Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) was on pole ahead of Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team).
The Kawasaki pairing of Tom Sykes and Loris Baz lined up alongside each other in 4th and 5th with Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) 6th and therefore completing row two. The restart, over 10 laps of the Sepang International Circuit didn¢t disappoint, with the leading five riders locked together until the two factory Aprilia riders eased clear. Marco Melandri had to take avoiding action as he misjudged his braking point on the second lap, narrowly missing the back of his team mate Guintoli and Toni Elias. Thankfully everyone stayed aboard treating the fans to one of the closest race finishes of the year.
Melandri and Guintoli exchanged places several times on the final lap with the Italian getting the better of his team mate once again to take a double win on the championshp¢s first visit to Sepang. Reigning champion made amends after being taken out in race one to take the final spot on the podium. Loris Baz was 5th, Toni Elias a solid 4th and Jonathan Rea 6th. Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) was the best classified EVO rider, racing to 12th at the end of the race ahead of David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team).