SBK Aragon Race Two: Melandri Pips Laverty On Last Lap

Marco Melandri triumphed in a thrilling second race at Aragon which saw four riders battling for victory on the final lap. The BMW rider slugged it out with race one adversary Max Biaggi with Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies putting in superb rides to knock the championship leader off the podium.

The factory Aprilias took control of the race right from the start with Laverty leading from Biaggi. Melandri quickly moved into third with polesitter Tom Sykes falling back to fifth. Davies was ninth at this point but an inspired ride moved him to the front of the chasing pack by half distance, leaving just the top three ahead of him.

The Welshman had over 2.5 seconds to make up but with the leaders busy tripping over each other, his task was made much easier. Biaggi had a spell in the lead early on but unlike race one, Laverty wouldn't fall away and repassed his teammate on lap ten. Davies joined the leading group just as Melandri charged through to the lead at the start of lap 15 but there was plenty of racing to be done yet.

On lap 16, Biaggi used the power of his Aprilia to blast past Melandri on the long back straight but Melandri responded instantly, sending an aggressive move up the inside of the hairpin. Both were sent wide as the BMW rider desperately tried to make the turn, with Laverty and Davies ducking underneath them to take first and second.

Melandri quickly demoted Davies back down to third but trailed Laverty's factory Aprilia heading into the final lap. The Italian dived through into turn eight with a move that proved decisive with Laverty unable to outdrag the BMW on the run to the line. Davies kept Biaggi at bay despite a challenge at the hairpin to finish third, claiming his first podium in World Superbikes.

After a horrendous race one, Jonathan Rea salvaged some important points with fifth in race two, seeing off the threat of Leon Haslam. Carlos Checa's fading title hopes took another blow after he could only manage seventh ahead of a disappointed Tom Sykes while Ayrton Badovini, who took Sykes out in race one, took ninth, beating Davide Giugliano in a photo finish.