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Melandri ‘very sorry’ for Checa downfall
11 June 2012
Marco Melandri has apologised to Carlos Checa for inadvertently eliminating him from the second World Superbike race of the day at Misano.
A winner at Donington Park and Miller Motorsports Park, Melandri began the races by joining Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa on the lower half of the grid in 13th after struggling in Superpole, but made the swiftest progress to the front in race one as he quickly joined the five-strong lead pack.
However, Melandri's challenge for victory would decline shortly afterwards when his tyre faded dramatically, the Italian's demoted as far as 17th, by which time he opted to retire the BMW rather than continue and score no points.
“In race one, we used the smaller rear tyre, and the grip level was quite ok. Suddenly, after nine or ten laps, the grip level dropped down. It took only another couple of laps and the tyre was gone completely. It was impossible to continue riding, so I decided to come into the garage.”
Utilising a better tyre in race two, Melandri attempted to make similarly quick gains on the front runners, but in doing so was caught up in an incident with Carlos Checa on lap four when his attempt at a pass resulted in contact being made between the pair.
While Checa crashed out into retirement, Melandri stayed upright to complete a solid fourth place finish, though the Italian was full of remorse for the earlier clash.
“On lap four I was behind Carlos. I tried to pass him in turn four where I felt strong in braking. We were side by side, so I expected him to see me. But when we started to flick into the corner he seemed not to realise that I was next to him, as he touched my leg with his shoulder and he lost the front. I am very sorry, Carlos is a great guy and a fair sportsman.”
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