SBK Magny Cours Race Two: Defiant Melandri Beats Guintoli

by Louis Suddaby

Marco Melandri took victory ahead of teammate Sylvain Guintoli in the second race of the weekend at Magny Cours amid bizarre scenes in pouring rain. A matter of hours after following team orders to hand Guintoli victory, the Italian defied an identical instruction to take the 25 points for himself.

Unlike in race one, the Aprilias didn’t have things all their own way with Jonathan Rea taking the fight to the RSV4s. The PATA Honda rider inherited the lead when Davide Giugliano tumbled on lap two but Rea would surrender his advantage in identical circumstances, highsiding at the Nurburgring chicane.

Guintoli took over at the front with Melandri following close behind but when the home favourite slid wide at Adelaide, releasing Marco into the lead, Aprilia were forced to deploy team orders for the second time in two races. This time though, Melandri paid no attention whatsoever and stormed to victory, arguing afterwards that giving Guintoli the double would not be showing enough respect to my personal sponsors”.

Whatever the reasoning, Guintoli had to settle for the second prize of 20 points but he did at least receive a favour from an unlikely figure in Leon Haslam who outfought Tom Sykes for the final podium position, ending his two year rostrum drought. The reigning champion held onto a comfortable fourth but he heads to Qatar next month with a rather precarious 12 point lead for the season finale.

3C Racing duo Lorenzo Lanzi and Max Neukirchner completed the top six ahead of Loris Baz whose already dim mood can’t have been helped by an uncompetitive seventh. Claudio Corti took a terrific eighth for MV Agusta with Chaz Davies remounting after a crash to finish ninth.

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