|Both riders had mixed fortunes at Phillip Island
Photo: BMW Motorrad
It was a mixed day for Goldbet BMW Motorrad in Australia, in the first race Chaz Davies took 4th whilst Melandri was knocked out of the race in an incident with Carlos Checa’s Ducati Panigale and in the second race Melandri took 3rd whilst Davies crashed out on the first lap, taking Baz with him.
Melandri had made a good start in Race 1, battling with Checa and Haslam for podium places when Checa unfortunately overcooked it and hit Melandri’s rear wheel sending both riders flying. Melandri went down on his injured shoulder, however the Italian’s main concern was not himself but the unconscious Carlos Checa in a commendable display of sportsmanship. Melandri has been struggling with the shoulder all week in Phillip Island, however he battled through the pain in race 2 to take third place, even fighting for second. Melandri will have surgery on the shoulder on Wednesday, taking advantage of the 7 week gap until round 2 at Aragon. “In race one I was working my way towards the front and had improved to third place, when I was hit from behind by Carlos and unfortunately I fell on my right shoulder. I don’t know why it happened, maybe he made a mistake or he had a technical issue, I just went down suddenly. I am sorry for Carlos, he is a professional rider and I wish him a speedy recovery. In race two, I fought within the leading group from the very beginning, despite the pain in my shoulder. In the closing laps I had Michel really close behind me trying to overtake me, but I succeeded in defending my position and battled for my place on the podium. In this type of situation, it is like winning for me. Regarding my shoulder, I have surgery planned on Wednesday, following a medical examination on Monday to define which kind of surgery I have.”
Despite starting from 12th on the grid and a mediocre start Chaz Davies fought through the pack at immense speed towards the latter end of the race, whilst there was not enough time for Davies to go after the leading trio of Aprilias, he cemented a fourth place despite a late challenge from 2012 runner up Tom Sykes. In the second race, Davies lost the rear on the first lap unfortunately collecting Loris Baz and running several riders off the track. Davies got back on the bike, which had a rear puncture and made it back to the pits. However, keen to get out he sped down the pitlane and landed himself a ride through penalty meaning any chance of him scoring points was minimal, he finished 17th. The Welshman said “After race one, I was happy with the points I received for my fourth position finish, but honestly I would have liked to have a podium. I knew after warm-up that a podium was realistic. I was almost a little bit disappointed when I didn’t get it, despite the fact that I achieved far more than I expected before I started the weekend here. The race was quite hectic. To overtake in Phillip Island you need to make a split second decision and there are a lot of close moves, especially ones that use the brakes. The bike was working great on the brakes, so that was an advantage. It was a little bit of a shame that I was held up in the very beginning. I think if I could have stayed directly behind the leading group I would have had the speed to move away with them. In the opening lap of race two I lost the rear as I turned in. I’m not exactly sure why. The only reason I can give is either that somebody tapped me or that the extreme right hand side of the tyre wasn’t quite scrubbed in and that made the rear spin around. Unfortunately, Loris was on the outside of me and he had nowhere to go. Of course that was very disappointing but we are mostly taking the positives from the first race and will build on those for the future rounds.”