Aprilia Racing Team’s Marco Melandri secured his first wins of the season in spectacular style, taking the double at the Sepang International Circuit in the WSBK’s paddock first visit to the track.
|Melandri carved his way through the field
Photo: Steven English
Starting from fifth on the grid, the Italian used his past experience at the track to fight through the field and pass his team-mate Guintoli for the lead on lap ten of sixteen, and crossed the line over half a second in the lead from the French-man. In a ten lap dash for the win in race two following a red flag on the third lap, Melandri was again further down the order and faught his way through to reach his team-mate on the final lap.
In a tense closing lap battle, Melandri was able to hold onto the lead despite a final attempt from Guintoli round the final corner “A double win that was just what we needed! Despite the difficulties we never gave up. We kept working and fighting. I had a good feeling straight away with my RSV4 here. The conditions in Race 1 were difficult but I managed to catch up to Sylvain. After overtaking him I set my own pace. I knew I could defend well in the braking sections and I was able to manage the race to the end. Race 2 was even harder because I also had to battle with the Kawasakis before catching Sylvain. In the last tap I thought I would give it a try. I had to give 100 percent down to the chequered flag. Anyway, all the riders deserve admiration today because riding in these conditions is not easy at all. I want to dedicate this win to Manu, her belly and all the guys on the Team. See you at Misano!”