Marco Melandri has expressed his frustration at being unable to challenge for victory during the sixth round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship, despite notching up a fifth podium finish of the season at Misano.

Starting from the front row of the grid, Melandri had hoped to take the fight to key title rivals Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi, but had no answer to their pace during the first race, the Yamaha rider coming home third, almost 18 seconds adrift.

Similarly in race two, Melandri was the bridge between the leaders and the chasing pack as he circulated in third, only for him to lose the front-end of the R1 ten laps into the race and put him out of contention.

Indeed, despite the earlier run to third place, Melandri was not pleased with the performance, claiming the bike was difficult to ride throughout the day.

"It was a very difficult day, one to be forgotten. Not due to the crash, but mainly for the inability to compete. Even in race two I was too slow to be as competitive as I should be. The morning (race one) I had difficulty riding the bike and struggled to get the podium.

"We made some changes prior to race two but that didn't improve anything. The bike seemed to be completely lacking in grip from the beginning and I just suddenly lost the front."

Melandri is now third in the WSBK standings, 95 points behind Checa and 23 points adrift of Biaggi.


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