Marco Melandri insists he can be proud of his first World Superbike Championship season as a BMW rider, despite seeing his burgeoning title hopes derailed by costly mistakes in the final races of the year.
Embarking on his second season of WSBK racing after finishing runner-up to Carlos Checa with Yamaha in 2011, Melandri's decision to move to BMW would prove a shrewd one as he came on strong during the middle of the year.
Claiming BMW's first WSBK win at Donington Park, further success at Miller Motorsports Park, Motorland Aragon, Brno and the Moscow Raceway would help Melandri overturn a deficit of 60 points to Max Biaggi into an 18.5 point advantage with just three rounds remaining.
However, crashes at the Nurburgring and Portimao would leave Melandri with not a single point in four successive races, nixing his title dreams and allowing Tom Sykes to assume the runners-up spot.
Nonetheless, despite the disappointing conclusion to his year, Melandri feels he has much to be proud of, claiming the BMW wasn't a title contesting package at the start of the season.
“Overall, this was a great season for us. We can be proud of what we have achieved. When we started the season we were quite far from the top guys. We closed the gap quickly and fought with them for the rest of the season. We won races, but we also had some bad luck and I made mistakes.
“Everything was possible this year, and we can be happy. I hope to start from that point next year. A big 'Thank You' to all the team in Germany and at the track.”
Melandri will remain a BMW rider in 2013, though the factory will revert its backing to the current GoldBet Italia team.