Max Biaggi led an Aprilia podium clean sweep in the first World Superbike race at the Nurburgring this morning and re-took the championship lead as Marco Melandri crashed out early on.
The Roman Emperor slid past Kawasaki's Tom Sykes for the lead at half distance and opened up an immediate gap as the Huddersfield man once again struggled for grip. As his rear Pirelli gave up the ghost, he was swallowed up by Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies to completed the podium.
Biaggi now assumes control of the points table and Sykes closes the gap to Melandri while ride of the day went to Fixi Suzuki's Leon Camier. The former British Superbike Champion started from the back of the grid after pitting in on the formation lap with a oil leak.
He picked his way through the field to end in fifth place and was the only rider on track able to match Biaggi's consistent 1'56s lap times. Sylvain Guintoli fought his way past Leon Haslam for sixth with his team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti bagging eighth. Ayrton Badovini and Hiro Aoyama complete the top ten.
Reigning champion Carlos Checa picked himself up after an early crash to finish in 12th, passing John Hopkins late on, while it was disaster for Jonathan Rea who tipped off not long after Checa.