Marco Melandri has paid tribute to BMW after falling just short of giving the exiting manufacturer the perfect send-off with a victory at Jerez.

Since joining the German firm at the start of the 2012 season, Melandri has been instrumental in transforming BMW into regular front runners and title contenders, though this weekend's finale at Jerez signals the last for the manufacturer in its current factory-backed guise.

With this in mind, Melandri attempted to send BMW out on a high, shrugging off a painful ankle injury sustained in the run up to the event to battle it out with Eugene Laverty in race one. Taking the lead on the penultimate lap with a controversially aggressive overtake into the hairpin, Laverty's bold - and successful - response on the final corner would ultimately deny the Italian that opportunity.

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Proceeding to withdraw from the second race due to the pain in his ankle, Melandri was disappointed not to bow out with a win, but took the time to praise BMW for the 'love' they have shown since joining.

"The first race was amazing. I gave everything to keep Eugene's pace," said Melandri, who is confirmed as finishing the season in fourth place overall. "Already with five laps to go I could not ride like I wanted because I could not use my foot properly but it was quite okay thanks to the Clinica Mobile.

"On the penultimate lap he made a little mistake so I came close to him and could try to make a pass. It was not an easy situation because we were sliding a lot but I was in front on the last lap. Then in the last corner I thought that Eugene has nothing to lose in the championship and could give it a try so I preferred to stay inside but I braked too early. Eugene was very smart so in the end he made a nice pass on me and that was it.

"I was sorry for my team because I would have liked to celebrate the 100th podium of my career with a win but it was okay like this. Congratulations to Tom and Kawasaki, they had an amazing end of the season. After race one my ankle was too painful. I preferred to listen to my body and not to race. I also did not want to end my time with BMW with a bad result.

"The last two years were a really important time in my career. I met great people who became really close to me and ready to help me. For sure the most difficult step will be to leave them, because they loved me, and to re-start from scratch. I wish all of them the best for the future, because they are fantastic and deserve the best."

Though BMW is expected to be represented in 2014, any official involvement will be limited to the manufacturer assisting a customer support programme with official parts.

Melandri's future plans, meanwhile, are expected to centre around a deal to join Aprilia Racing in 2014.