Marco Melandri has supported the controversial decision by Race Direction to cancel the first World Superbike Championship race of the day at Monza due to the tricky weather conditions.
Melandri endured an eventful day around his home circuit, crashing spectacularly out at the Parabolica at the end of race one's opening lap, though the subsequent red flag for rain just two laps later ensured he could restart if his BMW was fixed in time.
As it happens, race one wouldn't be restarted due to the ever-changing conditions, a decision that Melandri – who was one of the riders called on for consultation – backed.
“It was the right decision to cancel the first race today. It had rained a lot, and there are different tarmacs on the track. While the new tarmac doesn't allow for the water to drain away, the old asphalt is different and dries up very quickly. It would have been dangerous to go out with the rain tyre under those conditions.
Faring better in the second race, Melandri battled for a podium but found himself in fourth when the red flags were deployed after just eight laps. Despite this, he was happy with his performance regardless.
“The second race went well for me. I decided not to push too hard at the beginning of the race just to get into the rhythm. I started to feel really comfortable in the lap before the red flag. I felt quite good on the bike, but unfortunately the rain came too early.”
Echoing Melandri's words, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Bernhard Gobmeier says safety was and should always be of paramount importance.
“It was dramatic how this weekend went, with our strong start in the qualifying, the tricky and irregular conditions in the Superpole and today's extremely changeable weather. It would have been too dangerous to ride in the rain so the red flags were absolutely right, because the safety of the riders is the highest priority.”