Melandri: "I think I could have given Sykes a run for it"

Aprilia Racing Team’s Marco Melandri continued his strong form as he secured two podium position finishes at the Italian track of Misano this weekend.

Melandri is happy with the progress made

Photo: WorldSBK

The Italian started both races from fifth on the grid and was able to convert this into a third position in both races, after he dropped down to eighth in race one which saw him push through the field; and he then fought with Kawasaki’s Loris Baz throughout race two. However Melandri was disappointed he was unable to fight with Tom Sykes, who produced two stunning performances to take the double victory.

Melandri crossed the line in third in both races, and he boosted himself up into fifth position in the championship standings:“I’m pleased with the way I rode today. I had a good feeling with the bike. In Race 1 after a few mistakes at the start I was able to overtake the riders in front of me, but the Kawasakis were quite simply faster. I’m disappointed about Race 2 because I was able to make up some ground thanks to the work done in the garage. Unfortunately it is very difficult to overtake here and Baz rode very well and didn’t make any mistakes. I think I could have given Sykes a run for it. I wouldn’t have made it easy for him. It’s a shame that we weren’t able to fully verify the progress we made. After Sepang I was consistently fast here too. We are on the right track in terms of feeling so we just need to keep improving from here. Portimao, with its layout, will be able to give us a hand”.
French team-mate Sylvain Guintoli had a more difficult weekend however he keeps hold of second position in the championship standings.

Following a bad tyre choice in race one, Guintoli was battling for a top five finish in race one, the Aprilia rider was able to fend off Toni Elias as he was unable to catch Chaz Davies in fourth on the Ducati. Race two saw him decrease the gap to the leaders however he was still unable to catch his team-mate and the flying Kawasaki’s.

Guintoli heads to Portimao second in the championship and is without a win in eight races “In terms of the championship at least I am holding onto second place in the standings. But I definitely was expecting more. We are not missing any pure speed, but we need to work on consistent performance as far as race pace goes. In Race 1 we made the wrong tyre choice, whereas in Race 2 with the right options and a few changes to the bike geometry we were able to significantly reduce the gap behind the leaders. While I was with Marco and Baz I made a few mistakes too many which kept me from battling for the podium in the end. It’s a shame there is no Race 3… All joking aside, we need to keep working to be more consistent in the race”.

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