Moscow (Russia) - Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Goldbet) is back on the top step of the podium after an epic race 1 that was hard to imagine before the lights went off. Melandri's third win in the season means a big step up in the points for the Italian, who is now 32 points away from new Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team).
Constantly changing weather conditions and several DNFs played a huge factor in today's first race, with 2013 flag-to-flag rules that came into place. The Italian, along with several other riders in the top positions, pulled in for a tyre change at the end of lap 20 as the rain got heavier, making almost impossible to ride on slick compounds.
Thanks to a formidable pit-stop performed by his crew, Melandri closed the gap on the leader and team mate Chaz Davies, eventually getting on first position and pulling away to cross the line a lonely winner. Davies, on the other hand, led the race for the most part, showing great skills on both dry and mixed conditions.
Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) brought the 1199 Panigale R to a long-awaited first podium finish, thanks to an impressive performance in the last part of the race. The former STK1000 Champion found himself at ease on soaked wet conditions, to edge out from the top-3 Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) while entering the penultimate lap.
Sylvain Guintoli put in another heroic performance today by finishing sixth behind Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Aprilia), despite the dislocated right collarbone and a big moment in the first half of the race.
Tom Sykes' (Kawasaki Racing Team) second technical problem of the weekend resulted in a no-score for the Brit, as his bike stopped and got on fire during the fourth lap. A big number of crashes took place and involved Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare), Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia), Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike), Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic BMW).
Race 1 results: 1. Melandri (BMW) 25 Laps/98.275 km in 46'03.043 average 128.044 kph; 2. Davies (BMW) 7.441; 3. Badovini (Ducati) 12.754; 4. Rea (Honda) 21.317; 5. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 47.456; 6. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'00.999; 7. Neukirchner (Ducati) 1'04.762; 8. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'04.947; 9. Camier (Suzuki) 1'09.140; 10. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1 Lap; 11. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1 Lap; RT. Laverty (Aprilia); RT. Haslam (Honda); RT. Sykes (Kawasaki); RT. Giugliano (Aprilia); RT. Savadori (Kawasaki); RT. Iannuzzo (BMW); RT. Checa (Ducati).