Marco Melandri says his third place finish in the second World Superbike race of the day at Phillip Island was 'like a win' to him after hurting his already injured shoulder in his spectacular collision with Carlos Checa during the first encounter.
The Italian has been suffering with a persistent shoulder problem throughout the off-season and was already mulling surgery during the break between rounds one and two before he was eliminated by Checa in a violent-looking accident 13 laps into the first race.
Coming down hard on his shoulder in the collision – which also saw Checa briefly knocked unconscious -, Melandri admits he was considering withdrawing from the second race.
However, not only would he take the start, he would go on to challenge for the win aboard the BMW GoldBet machine before settling for third position behind Aprilia riders Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli.
“In race one I was working my way towards the front and had improved to third place, when I was hit from behind by Carlos and unfortunately I fell on my right shoulder. I don't know why it happened, maybe he made a mistake or he had a technical issue, I just went down suddenly. I am sorry for Carlos, he is a professional rider and I wish him a speedy recovery.
“In race two, I fought within the leading group from the very beginning, despite the pain in my shoulder. In the closing laps I had Michel really close behind me trying to overtake me, but I succeeded in defending my position and battled for my place on the podium. In this type of situation, it is like winning for me.”
With six weeks now until the second round at Motorland Aragon, Melandri has confirmed that he will undergo surgery on his shoulder later this week.
“Regarding my shoulder, I have surgery planned on Wednesday, following a medical examination on Monday to define which kind of surgery I have.”