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WSBK Aragon 2013: Melandri: Not the best weekend…
14 April 2013
Marco Melandri was unable to maintain his perfect run of podiums at Motorland Aragon on what became a fairly difficult day for the BMW rider, but was otherwise content with his third and fifth place finishes.
A two-time race winner in Spain, Melandri was expected to be a contender for victory once again this year, but a disappointing Superpole that left him eighth, coupled to an early error in race one, would consign him to the lower end of the top ten initially.
Nonetheless, Melandri worked his way to a high of second position behind BMW team-mate Chaz Davies, only for his bike to hit neutral at turn five on lap sixteen and drop him back to fifth. Recovering two positions, Melandri would cross the line third at the chequered flag.
“After race one I was still pretty happy,” he said. “At the start I wasn't very comfortable with the front end and I made a big mistake trying to catch the guys in front of me at the end of the main straight.
“After that I got into a good rhythm and improved into second place. I thought that would be my position in the end but unfortunately the bike went into neutral between third and second gear. But I finished in third place which was not so bad for me.”
Getting away better in race two, Melandri was nonetheless caught out by an erroneous tyre choice that would leave him in a lonely fifth place at the end.
“In race two, based on my experience with the 16.5 inch tyre, I chose a harder tyre for the front. But with the 17 inch tyre, it worked differently to how I expected. I had less grip and could not ride properly. In the beginning I pushed very hard, but then I preferred not to risk too much.
Despite the underwhelming results, Melandri was happy to report no significant problems with his shoulder, before congratulating his team-mate Davies on his excellent double victory.
“For me, it wasn't the best weekend. I had no pain in my shoulder, but by the end of the race I had no strength left in my arms. I am looking forward to the next race in Assen, when we will be in a better shape. Congratulations to Chaz. He rode awesome – well done!”