Marco Melandri has consolidated his second place in the 2011 World Superbike Championship standings, in the absence of closest rival Max Biaggi, even if he endured one of his least successful events of the year at Imola.
The Italian was looking to put on a good show on home soil, particularly as the only rider capable of keeping Carlos Checa
honest in the WSBK standings, but he struggled to get comfortable around the Imola venue.
Qualifying ninth of the two races, Melandri suffered with rear-end problems in race one, consigning him to eighth. He fared better in race two, despite a mid-race off that dropped him outside the top ten, the Yamaha rider fighting his way back to sixth.
It was that sixth place that prevented Checa from sealing the title at Imola, though he requires a mere three points from the remaining four races to hold Melandri at bay.
"In race one I felt a strong vibrating sensation on the rear of the machine and was struggling with the engine brake so it was impossible to push any harder.
“In the second race I was also finding it hard to brake on downhill slopes but as the race progressed and the tank got lighter, the bike was more manageable. I was hoping to fight for the podium but at that stage it was bit late so I had to settle for sixth."