Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty on top at Monza


Italy‰Ûªs ultra fast Monza circuit did not disappoint overnight with the world‰Ûªs leading world superbike riders producing two incredible races in round 4 of the 2013 championship.

While Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) snatched the victories, Kawasaki‰Ûªs Tom Sykes and Aprilia‰Ûªs Sylvain Guintoli were key players in the lead action and ensured a breathtaking four way battle to the line in both races.

Marco Melandri was the winner of a thrilling and ultra-close first race, following a spectacular battle throughout the 18 laps.

The 11th race win for the home rider, though his maiden on the Italian track, was a perfect display of racecraft, as Melandri entered the final lap in 3rd position and immediately overtook Sykes at turn one, then made a successful move on Laverty for the lead.

The works Aprilia Rider regained first position at the "Ascari" chicane, with Sykes also fighting for the lead. But Melandri was not to be outdone and took the Irishman at the last turn to snatch victory from both Sykes and Laverty.

The three riders crossed the line side by side, with Melandri winning by 0.085 seconds over Sykes and by 0.107 seconds on Laverty. Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) was part of the contention for the win but lost ground in the closing stages to finish 4th.

‰ÛÏIt was an unbelievable day for me." Melandri stated. "To finish first and second here in Monza is just awesome and it feels great after we had a difficult start to the season.

"Race one was unbelievable. I knew that my race pace was quite good, even if we struggled a bit in qualifying. Until the chequered flag, I was talking to my RR, telling her ‰Û÷go, go, go‰Ûª ‰ÛÒ that was incredible.

"In Race 2, Sylvain made a little mistake, I passed him and then tried to catch Eugene, but he was a bit too far away. Anyway, I was also very happy with second place. Now I am confident because I feel that the feeling with the bike is coming back," he added.

Fifth place went to Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) - who made his way up to sixth position following a difficult start - and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team). Australia‰Ûªs Mark Aitchison on the Effenbert Liberty Ducati took 16th.
Marco Melandri celebrated his win in the second WSBK race at Monza - Credit: Gee Bee Images
After his third place relegation in race one, Laverty took revenge over Melandri to score a crucial victory in Race two. The Irishman grabbed the lead on the penultimate lap and defended the position from a competitive Melandri, who set the fastest lap of the race right before the chequered flag in 1'42.379.

With his 3rd race win of 2013, Laverty closes the gap on the championship leader Guintoli to 13 points, with Sykes third with an 18 point gap from the top.

‰ÛÏThis was a great day for me." Laverty commented. "After the podium in Race one it was nice to end the weekend with a victory. Especially since I was a bit disappointed because I had a shot at the top step of the podium in the first race, as well,if I had managed the end differently.

"The points situation is excellent if you consider the double DNF in Aragon, but I've already left those difficulties behind me and I count on doing well at the next round at Donington as well."

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider of Sykes completed the podium ahead of Guintoli, as both riders were part of a 4-way battle that characterised most of the 18-lap race.

Their race result is still provisional, as after the chequered flag the Aprilia Racing Team requested the Race Director analyse Sykes‰Ûª last lap, after he ran off track while entering Turn 5, through the run off area and rejoined by maintaining his 3rd position and same pace.

The appeal by Aprilia was upheld and after Sykes was penalised with one position place penalty, the Kawasaki Racing Team appealed to the FIM Stewards' Panel. Following an analysis of race footage and sector times by Sykes, preceding rider Melandri and following rider Guintoli, race officials decided to reinstate Sykes third in the classification.

This verdict could be further contested, as a second appeal could be lodged by the works Aprilia Team, this time to the International Disciplinary Court (within 5 days), that will eventually make the final decision.

Fifth place went to Fabrizio, after a close battle with Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia). Both riders had to face a strong Chaz Davies, up until the Welshman lost the front at Turn 5 during lap 12, and a fierce Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), 7th at the flag. Australia‰Ûªs Mark Aitchison withdrew from the race on lap three.

World Supersport
Sam Lowes took his second straight win and now leads the World Supersport championship - Credit: Gee Bee Images
Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) pulled off an outstanding overtaking manoeuvre on the last lap of the world supersport race to score his 2nd win of the season and become the new championship leader.

The 23 year old from Lincoln had a fantastic drive out of Turn 4 to pass all three riders ahead of him at the following chicane.

Lowes quickly built a small margin on the chasing pack to cross the line in 1st place ahead of Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki), Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport) and Riccardo Russo (Puccetti Racing Kawasaki). The top-5 in today's race, completed by Kev Coghlan (DMC-Racing Kawasaki) put up an outstanding battle throughout all 10 laps.

While on the lead in lap four of the race, reigning Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) lost the front at turn 8 and was out.

Team mate Fabien Foret didn't take part in the race after being involved in a multiple crash at Turn 1 that brought to a third red flag and eventually led to the decision to postpone the world supersport race till after World Superbike race two.

In world supersport, Australia‰Ûªs young Matt Davies registered his best result of the season, a 16th place finish on his Honda; while Wollongong‰Ûªs Mitch Carr on the AARK Racing Triumph was 25th.

In the earlier Superstock 600 race the rain came down hard around the Monza venue, causing mayhem for the riders. Aussie Mike Jones negotiated the tricky conditions to finish 24th, while unfortunately for Adrian Nestorovic he crashed out with two other riders while battling in side the top 10.

Australia's lone rider in the Superstock 1000 class Mitchell Pirotta, finished 19th on his Goeleven Kawasaki ZX-10R, while young Aussie Zac Levy had another impressive results in the European Junior Cup finishing in 4th place.

The fifth round of the 2013 world superbike championship will be held at Britain‰Ûªs Donington on May 26.
Racing does not get much tighter than this with all three riders side by side over the line during the opening WSBK race at Monza over night - Credit: Gee Bee Images
World Superbike Round Four Results: Race 1
1. Marco Melandri 30m54.925s ITA BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
2. Tom Sykes 0.085 GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
3. Eugene Laverty 0.107 IRL APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
4. Sylvain Guintoli 1.844 FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
5. Chaz Davies 7.629 GBR BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
6. Michel Fabrizio 8.407 ITA APRILIA Red Devils Roma
7. Loris Baz 15.555 FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
8. Jonathan Rea 16.465 GBR HONDA Pata Honda
9. Leon Camier 16.668 GBR SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
10. Davide Giugliano 26.820 ITA APRILIA Althea Racing
11. Ayrton Badovini 38.908 ITA DUCATI Team Ducati Alstare
12. Max Neukirchner 38.951 GER DUCATI MR-Racing
13. Fabrizio Lai 52.788 FRA KAWASAKI Pedercini Team
14. Kosuke Akiyoshi 55.889 JPN HONDA Pata Honda
15. Federico Sandi 56.006 ITA KAWASAKI Pedercini Team
16. Mark Aitchinson 56.827 AUS DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
17. Jules Cluzel 59.545 FRA SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
18. Vittorio Iannuzzo DNF ITA BMW Grillini DENTALMATIC SBK Team

World Superbike Round Four Results: Race 2
1. Eugene Laverty 30m59.653s IRL APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
2. Marco Melandri 0.143 ITA BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
3. Tom Sykes 0.725 GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
4. Sylvain Guintoli 1.619 FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
5. Michel Fabrizio 9.965 ITA APRILIA Red Devils Roma
6. Davide Giugliano 10.066 ITA APRILIA Althea Racing
7. Leon Camier 12.241 GBR SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
8. Loris Baz 29.771 FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
9. Ayrton Badovini 35.005 ITA DUCATI Team Ducati Alstare
10. Max Neukirchner 41.757 GER DUCATI MR-Racing
11. Fabrizio Lai 52.579 FRA KAWASAKI Pedercini Team
12. Vittorio Iannuzzo 1'28.772 ITA BMW Grillini DENTALMATIC SBK Team
13. Federico Sandi 1 Lap ITA KAWASAKI Pedercini Team
14. Chaz Davies DNF GBR BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
15. Jonathan Rea DNF GBR HONDA Pata Honda
16. Kosuke Akiyoshi DNF JPN HONDA Pata Honda
17. Mark Aitchinson DNF AUS DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
18. Jules Cluzel DNF FRA SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki

Championship standings After Round 4:
1. Sylvain Guintoli 137 pts
2. Eugene Laverty 125 pts
3. Tom Sykes 119 pts
4. Marco Melandri 96 pts
5. Chaz Davies 94 pts
6. Loris Baz 75 pts
7. Michel Fabrizio 74 pts
8. Jonathan Rea 71 pts
9. Davide Giugliano 49 pts
10. Leon Camier 46 pts
11. Jules Cluzel 41 pts
12. Max Neukirchner 39 pts
13. Ayrton Badovini 32 pts
14. Leon Haslam 29 pts
15. Carlos Checa 29 pts
16. Ivan Clementi 14 pts
17. Federico Sandi 12 pts
18. Fabrizio Lai 8 pts
19. Alexander Lundh 7 pts
20. Vittorio Iannuzzo 6 pts
21. Glen Allerton 6 pts
22. Jamie Stauffer 4 pts
23. Mark Aitchinson 2 pts

World Supersport Round Four Results: Race 1
1. Sam Lowes 18m09.799s GBR YAMAHA Yakhnich Motorsport
2. Florian Marino 0.798 FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
3. Lorenzo Zanetti 0.989 ITA HONDA Pata Honda
4. Riccardo Russo 1.342 ITA KAWASAKI Puccetti Racing Kawasaki
5. Kev Coghlan 1.487 GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team
6. Sheridan Morais 8.261 RSA HONDA PTR Honda
7. Vladimir Leonov 11.044 RUS YAMAHA Yakhnich Motorsport
8. Luca Scassa 11.169 ITA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
9. Vladimir Ivanov 11.199 RUS KAWASAKI Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team
10. Luca Marconi 11.253 ITA HONDA PTR Honda
11. Roberto Rolfo 14.119 ITA MV AGUSTA ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse
12. Mathew Scholtz 14.522 RSA SUZUKI Suriano Racing Team
13. Christian Iddon 14.964 GBR MV AGUSTA ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse
14. David Linortner 15.079 AUT HONDA Team Honda PTR
15. Raffaele De Rosa 15.123 ITA HONDA Team Lorini
16. Matt Davies 15.313 AUS HONDA Team Honda PTR
17. Alex Baldolini 20.309 ITA HONDA Team Lorini
18. Roberto Tamburini 22.110 ITA SUZUKI Suriano Racing Team
19. Gabor Talmacsi 22.114 HUN HONDA Prorace
20. Nacho Calero Perez 31.116 ESP HONDA PTR Honda
25. Mitchell Carr 58.364 AUS TRIUMPH AARK Racing

Championship Standings After Round 4:
1. Sam Lowes 70 pts
2. Fabien Foret 54 pts
3. Michael van der Mark 49 pts
4. Kenan Sofuoglu 45 pts
5. Lorenzo Zanetti 40 pts
6. Luca Scassa 34 pts
7. Florian Marino 31 pts
8. Andrea Antonelli 29 pts
9. Riccardo Russo 26 pts
10. Jack Kennedy 24 pts
11. Roberto Rolfo 22 pts
12. Kev Coghlan 22 pts
13. Vladimir Leonov 21 pts
14. Luca Marconi 16 pts
15. Massimo Roccoli 14 pts
16. Vladimir Ivanov 13 pts
17. David Salom 11 pts
18. Sheridan Morais 10 pts
19. Christian Iddon 8 pts
20. Mathew Scholtz 6 pts
29. Mitchell Carr 0 pts
30. Matt Davies 0 pts

Top Image: Eugene Laverty claimed the win in the opening race at Monza by the smallest of margins
Credit: Gee Bee Images

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