Marco Melandri brought his brief tenure with Yamaha to a successful close by claiming a fourth win of the 2011 World Superbike Championship season at Portimao and thanked the manufacturer for its support during his maiden season.
The Italian showed why is a reputed winner at the highest-level of motorcycle racing by swiftly adapting to Superbikes, winning only his third race at Donington Park and visiting the top step of the podium a further three times, including the final race of the season in Portugal.
A fitting end to his time at Yamaha as the manufacturer withdraws its factory involvement from the series, Melandri has thanked the operation for offering the chance to be a winner again.
"It was a fantastic race win and end to the championship,” said Melandri, who finished second in the standings overall. “The bike was working well and I really wanted one more win before finishing up the season.
“I would have liked a double but race one didn't go so well. I got a good start and was planning on waiting a few laps before pushing harder and fighting for a win but unfortunately the rear tyre was gone by mid race I had very little grip and just couldn't keep pushing.
“The team has worked really hard all year and I'd like to thank them and everyone at Yamaha for the amazing season together and for all their help and support in the tough time since YME decided to withdraw at the end of this year."
Melandri will now turn his attentions to 2012 and his switch to BMW.