Marco Melandri comes away from Donington Park with mixed emotions after claiming BMW's long-awaited first World Superbike victory in race one, before being involved in a controversial last corner incident in race two.
Having come close at Assen and Monza, Melandri looked capable of challenging for victory at Donington Park from the front row, a prediction he fulfilled as he tussled with team-mate Leon Haslam during the crucial latter stages of the race.
The critical moment came when Haslam ran off course at the Esses, allowing Melandri the breathing space he needed to complete BMW's maiden victory at WSBK level since making its series debut at the start of the 2009 season.
“It is an awesome feeling for me to put my name in the history books of a factory like BMW Motorrad. I could not have dreamt of this when I was young. I just want to say thank you to BMW Motorrad in Germany, to the team at the track and to everybody involved in the project.
“We have been working so hard and we have never been close to giving up, even when we have had some difficulties. We will keep pushing, and I am more than happy.”
With regards to race two, Melandri has defended his attempts to overtake Haslam at the final bend, insisting that – as a racer - he 'had to try' to snatch the win.
I am disappointed with the result of the second race. I was trying to pass Leon in the final corner, although I knew it would be difficult but I am a racer and I had to try. I ran a little wide and expected Leon to pass me back – finishing second would have been ok for me.
“Then Leon was hit and he crashed. His bike hit me and I crashed too. I feel sorry for both of us but that's racing. We now have to keep our heads up high and look forward to Salt Lake City where we hope to be fighting for wins again.”