World Superbike Series’ leader Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri had an all-out battle during the second round doubleheader presented at Donington Park; both riders ending up winning one race each.
In the first of two races, Marco Melandri (Yamaha) has taken a stunning first WSBK victory in only his third race after hunting down and passing Jakub Smrz (Ducati) in the closing stages.
The Italian put in an aggressive performance after starting a distant ninth position on the grid to work his way up the field to deny Jakub Smrz, the Czech rider getting to within a lap of winning his first race after leading for 17 of the 23 laps.
The battle for the final podium position went also to the chequered flag as Carlos Checa
(Ducati) stalked his way back into contention to steal the position with just two corners remaining.
In the second event, Carlos Checa extended his advantage at the top of the championship standings after claiming a comfortable third win in four races.
After losing the lead to Leon Haslam (BMW) on the start, the Spaniard snatched it back on lap three to never look behind after that.
Cruising to victory ahead of race one winner Marco Melandri, the result means that Checa has now opened up a 19 point advantage over the Italian after the first two rounds of the season.
Leon Camier (Aprilia) was fighting with Haslam when Melandri moved up into third position. Melandri pushed on, planting a decisive move on the BMW rider on lap seven, with Camier following through into third.
Perhaps the most significant on-track moment of the race, however, was occurring further back with Max Biaggi, who was being beckoned into the pit lane to serve a drive-thru penalty.
The Aprilia rider had jumped the start, earning him an unsurprising penalty, but he continued to lap regardless. He was later disqualified.
WSBK Donington Parl Race No.1 – Results
Pos. Rider Team/Bike Gap
1. Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 34mins 33.189secs
2. Jakub Smrz Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R +2.455s
3. Carlos Checa Althea Ducati 1098R +5.839s
4. Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad S1000RR +6.176s
5. Jonathan Rea Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +9.039s
6. Noriyuki Haga PATA Aprilia RSV-4 +9.215s
7. Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +9.960s
8. Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +14.860s
9. Troy Corser BMW Motorrad S1000RR +14.877s
10. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +16.182s
WSBK Donington Parl Race No.2 – Results
Pos. Rider Team/Bike Gap
1. Carlos Checa Althea Ducati 1098R 23 laps
2. Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +3.397s
3. Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +5.902s
4. Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad S1000RR +13.842s
5. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +14.253s
6. Jonathan Rea Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +19.413s
7. Michel Fabrizio Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 +20.278s
8. Jakub Smrz Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R +21.160s
9. Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW Italia S1000RR +24.298s
10. Ruben Xaus Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +24.907s