Melandri impresses with maiden World Superbike podium

Melandri Impresses with Maiden World Superbike Podium at Phillip Island. Yamaha World Superbike Team rider Marco Melandri ended his podium drought this afternoon, stepping up to take third position in the second World Superbike race, his first podium since 2009. The World Superbike rookie started well from his second row position, closing in on defending World Champion Max Biaggi and pushing him to the race finale, interchanging for second position a number of times before finally settling for third at the line, less than 1.5 seconds from double race winner Carlos Checa.

The first race of the day saw both Melandri and his teammate Eugene Laverty start well, Laverty impressing by leading the first two laps of his first ever Superbike race, before dropping back to swap positions with Melandri several times.

Laverty claimed fourth and Melandri fifth at the line. Both riders had struggled a bit for rear grip in the first race, and Laverty also from arm pump, problems which were rectified by team set up changes and help from Clinica Mobile prior to race two.

Laverty’s second race began with the young Northern Irishman pressing on and holding sixth position until lap eight when a false neutral caused him to run wide, losing valuable time and positions. The same issue was repeated on lap 11, dropping him to 20th position by lap 15. Despite the setback Laverty fought back, pushing back up over seven laps to claim 15th at the line.

As they head to Donington in the UK for the second round of the championship, they do so with Melandri sitting in third in the overall standings with 27 points, his teammate Laverty sits in ninth with 14 points, 13 behind Melandri.