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Melandri: I am living my dream!

23 July 2012

An emotional Marco Melandri has lauded his double World Superbike Championship victory at Brno as 'unbelievable' as he slashed Max Biaggi's series lead and helped lift BMW to the top of the manufacturers' standings for the first time.

The Italian was in superb form during both races as he bided his time to strike in the crucial final stages, Melandri winning both races despite only leading three laps over the course of the whole day.

Battling the tricky track conditions of the first race, Melandri steadily worked his way up from a low of eighth, moving from sixth to first in consecutive laps to notch up the first of his two successes.

“Race one was already amazing. At the beginning the conditions were very difficult as it was wet. As we were riding with slicks we just tried not to lose too many positions, but in the first few laps I struggled a lot.

“While I was trying to improve my position I made two mistakes because I still was not feeling comfortable. When I saw I was eighth I said to myself I needed to be quiet and keep my rhythm to catch the front guys. It was not easy to overtake them, but when I took the lead with one lap to go I knew I just needed to keep pushing as much as I could. I knew I was faster than the others.”

Melandri was made to work harder for his victory in race two as he became embroiled in a race-long tussle with Tom Sykes, but a pass on the final lap would be enough to secure his and BMW's first-ever double triumph.

“Race two was even more difficult, as Tom was having a great race and I had to spend a lot of energy trying to catch him. The tyre was working very well today, and I was able to keep the gap very small. Every time I tried to pass Tom he was braking so hard that it was nearly impossible.

“Once I finally passed him, I made a mistake and Tom passed me back. It was really tough to catch him again. Actually I did not expect to win, but doing that here twice today is just amazing.

Slashing Biaggi's lead from 48 points to 21 points with five rounds remaining, Melandri was thrilled to have already taken five wins this season – more than any other rider.

Coming in the week that BMW announced it is moving its factory operation to the satellite BMW Italia team in 2013, the German manufacturer is also now leading the manufacturers' standings for the first time since it made its WSBK debut in 2009.

“I am living my dream today. Securing my first double victory here in Brno on this race track is something special for me. I am so happy because I already have five victories this season and nobody expected that.

“Seeing BMW leading the manufacturers' championship is unbelievable and it makes me proud. I was also able to close the gap to Max in the riders' championship. But the season is still long, and we plan race by race.

“I want to thank everybody at BMW Motorrad and in the race team who work so hard every day and put so much effort in the project. It was so unbelievable and emotional to see them smiling and happy. Now I just want to celebrate this result.”


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