Marco Melandri says he is delighted to be starting on front row of the grid for BMW's home round of the World Superbike Championship at the Nurburgring, despite being out-qualified by key title rivals Max Biaggi and Tom Sykes.
Having originally been unhappy with the performance of the BMW S1000RR when he provisionally qualified outside the top ten in Q1, Melandri made big strides over the course of Q2 and FP2 to emerge a pole position contender in Supeprole.
Though he would eventually fall just a tenth short of both Biaggi and Sykes, third position on the grid actually equals Melandri's best starting position of the season.
Indeed, tellingly for Melandri's strong race form, only one of his six wins this year was achieved from a starting position higher than fifth.
“I am very happy to be in the front row here at Nürburgring, which is my second home race,” he said. “In the past I have always struggled in qualifying but today I had a good feeling with the qualifying tyre. My BMW was working very well.
“The two races tomorrow will be very long. It will not be easy for the tyre or the riders so we will see but the front row is a good place to start from. It was nice to bring the BMW to the front row for the home round today but my goal is to be successful tomorrow.”
Melandri takes an 18.5 point lead over Biaggi into the two German races.