Ducati’s Marco Melandri took a first World Superbike win since 2014 after cruising to victory at Misano, with Jonathan Rea fending off Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes for second.

After crashing out of third in Saturday’s race, Melandri had work to do from 10th on the grid. Getting off the line well, the Ducati rider soon found himself inside the top five and rapidly closing down the podium battle.

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At the front Barni Racing’s Xavi Fores led pole man Jordi Torres, while the Kawasaki’s debated third place.

Torres took the lead on the fifth lap with a brave move on the inside of the fast Turn 12. Fores clung onto the back of the BMW rider across the line, but was forced to park up just a few corners later with a technical issue.

Behind, Melandri had dispatched of Sykes for second and began the hunt for the BMW rider ahead. At just over half distance, the Italian took the lead and immediately began to build a buffer between himself and Torres.

The Kawasaki duo were still locked together as the crossed the line to start lap 15, Rea moving ahead of Sykes for third at the second corner.

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By now, Melandri had opened out and advantage of over a second to Torres, the Italian’s afternoon about to become a lot easier when heartbreak struck the BMW rider.

Torres’s S1000RR stopped as he rounded the penultimate corner just three laps from home, a first podium since 2015 and a first BMW rostrum since 2013 cruelly snatched away from him.

Melandri came under no pressure on the final lap from either of the Kawasaki’s, the Ducati rider cruising across the line to take the 100th WorldSBK win for Italy ahead of Rea and Sykes, the former extending his championship lead to 50 points.

Michael van der Mark had a lonely ride to fourth after Yamaha team-mate Alex Lowes crashed out on lap 12, with Eugene Laverty completing the top five.

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Seven seconds adrift was his Milwaukee Aprilia team-mate Lorenzo Savadori, while Randy Krummenacher held Leandro Mercado at bay for eighth.

Stefan Bradl took the Honda to 10th, with the Grillini duo of Ayrton Badovini and Ondrej Jezek the last of the classified finishers in 11th and 12th respectively.

Britain’s Len Camier was on for a decent haul of points, but dropped out of the race in the closing stages while running well inside the top 10.

Roman Ramos, Fabio Menghi and Alex De Angelis were early retirements, while Chaz Davies was a non-starter after suffering a back fracture in his race one accident.

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