Marco Melandri says he is pleased to have qualified on the front row for the final round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship given his physical condition, but admits his injuries could prove troublesome over a race distance.
The Italian has been in strong form around the Magny-Cours circuit despite riding with the cracked ribs and back contortions he suffered in an accident last time out at Portimao.
Topping Q2 and FP2, Melandri looked good for a run at pole position in Superpole, but struggled with the better change of direction on the BMW when it was fitted with the stickier qualifying tyre. Still able to qualify on the front row in fourth place, even if he fears his injuries may hamper his chances come race day.
“Superpole was very good for me because my physical condition is not the best. To be on the front row is a big result for me. We could not expect that yesterday, so I am definitely happy. I was struggling with the qualifying tyre because with the extra grip you can change direction faster but with my injury that was impossible. I am very happy about my RR. We worked well this weekend with the team.
“[The races] are going to be difficult. We have to wait and see what the weather will do. It looks like it is going to be wet and we have to see how my physical condition is. It is the end of the season and for one more time we will try our best. At this last round I hope to get another good result for BMW Motorrad.”
Melandri is still mathematically able to win the 2012 title, but has fallen 38.5 points behind Max Biaggi with only two races and a maximum of 50 points available.