Marco Melandri had two contrasting races in Portugal this weekend, putting his GoldBet BMW Motorrad on the top step of the podium for the second time this season in race one; however tyre problems hindered
|Melandri had a mixed day in Portugal
Photo: BMW Motorrad
the Italian in race two dropping him down to twelfth.
In one of the most exciting races of 2013, Melandri was locked in a fight for the victory with Sylvain Guintoli and Tom Sykes. Grasping the lead in the first corner of the final lap Guintoli had no reply to the Italian but crossed the line just 0.007s behind Melandri to take the 4th closest WSBK race in history. Race two sadly didn’t go the same way for the 30 year old, as his rear Pirelli tyre didn’t have the grip to last him the whole race – by lap three he was beginning to lose grip and the tyre deteriorated, leaving his BMW RR difficult to ride. Melandri crossed the line in 12th position, 45 seconds behind race winner Laverty.
The Italian now lies in fourth position in the championship, 47 points back of Guintoli “To win in race one was not easy because at the beginning I was struggling a lot with the traction but after ten laps this improved and it was easier for me so I got closer to the front again. When I was leading, it was very difficult, because it was very windy so it was hard to stay in front. When Tom passed me, he closed the line. Maybe he thought he was in front of me but he just pushed me out of the track. When I came back, I did not have any plan so I just pushed as much as I could. I tried to overtake Tom very quickly because Sylvain was very fast and tried to pull away. When I caught Guintoli I took the opportunity to pass him. The last lap is very difficult to explain, it was just very close and I pushed as much as I could. I am so happy and thank you to everyone at BMW. In race two, I could certainly have been on the podium but instead the rear tyre began to vibrate from lap two onwards. From lap three I started losing grip and then the tyre deteriorated. As a consequence the whole bike started to vibrate and it was difficult to ride. I did the best I could do in that situation. Now I am looking forward to Imola.”