|Melandri enjoyed his best results of 2013 at Monza
Photo: BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad GoldBet rider Marco Melandri had an ‘unbelievable’ home round at Monza, securing two podiums and one race win at the historic Italian track.
Qualifying fifth following a technical issue on Saturday, a good start was crucial for the 30 year old to get his championship challenge back on track. Melandri managed to stick with the leading pack in race one and crossed the line in first position, just 0.085 seconds ahead of Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty to take his first win of 2013. Race two saw Melandri up in the leading pack again however he failed to make a pass on race winner Eugene Laverty stick, and despite setting the fastest lap of the race on the final lap it wasn’t enough for the Italian and he finished the race in second position.
Melandri said “It was an unbelievable day for me. To finish first and second here in Monza is just awesome and it feels great after we had a difficult start to the season. Race one was unbelievable. I knew that my race pace was quite good, even if we struggled a bit in qualifying. When we started, I knew that it would be very tough until the last corner. When Eugene passed me on the last lap, I thought it would be impossible to pass him back again, because he was very good in the turns and he was pulling away. But in the last corner I was quite close, I knew that I could go a little bit faster than the others and so I overtook him and, even though I was a little bit wide, I kept full throttle until the finish line. Until the chequered flag, I was talking to my RR, telling her ‘go, go, go’ – that was incredible.”
“In the middle of race two I was a little bit faster than the two guys in front of me, but I could not try to pass. But when Sylvain made a little mistake, I overtook him and then tried to catch Eugene, but he was a bit too far away. Anyway, I was also very happy with second place. Now I am confident because I feel that the feeling with the bike is coming back. I can brake and go into corners aggressively, it is my riding style. I am sure that from now on we can fight with the top guys at every race. Thanks a lot to my team because they are working so hard and I am sure our championship will start now. And I also want to say ‘Grazie’ to the many fans who came here today. It was just awesome to see the grandstands.” the Italian added.
Chaz Davies didn’t enjoy as much success as Melandri did at the Italian track, the Welshman only finished one race this weekend , securing a lonely fifth position.
Davies suffered a monster crash in the early moments of qualifying practice which meant he started the races down in 9th position. A strong start in race one pushed Davies up into a fight for fifth position with Jonathan Rea and Davide Guigliano. After a nail biting battle for a top five finish, Davies was left in a lonely fifth position after both Guigliano and Rea made mistakes which pushed them down the order. Race two saw Davies push too hard after being caught behind Guigliano which led to him losing the front end and his race being over. The 26 year old has now slipped down into 5th position in the championship standings, two weeks before his home race at Donington Park.
Davies declared “Race one was a fun race but not ideal. It was fun to battle with Jonathan and Davide, but there is no need to fight around here because the front group goes away too quickly and you lose everything, especially in the slipstream which is very important. You have to take a few tenths every lap in the slipstream. I was quite happy with my pace in the middle of the race, I could see that I was closing a little bit on the front group but in the end it was not possible to catch them. I would have liked to see how the race would have ended if I would have been able to go with them. In race two I lost time fighting with Davide again. It was fun, but it cost me half a second a lap to the top group. I thought I could close the gap and was pushing to fight for the race win and not to finish fifth. In the end I was pushing too hard and lost the front. Obviously I am disappointed to crash, but I am happy because we improved the bike step by step and were going in the right direction.”