WSBK Losail: Off-form Melandri holding out for improvements

Marco Melandri's troubles in Qatar continue through to qualifying as he can only manage eighth fastest.
Marco Melandri feels he is 'close' to the step forward that will make him competitive around the Losail International Circuit as his disappointing weekend continued with eighth in Superpole.

The Italian, who comes into the final round of the 2014 WSBK season having won three of the last four races, has struggled for pace around the Qatari circuit all weekend, a situation typified by him having to progress to SP2 via SP1 after finishing FP3 outside the top ten.

Going on to qualify in eighth place, Melandri was mystified as to why he is struggling on the Aprilia RSV4, but insists an improvement isn't far away.G

"These qualifying sessions were not easy. Even in terms of race pace I still don't feel like everything is perfect. But we have some ideas on how to improve and I feel like we're very close to taking a step forward so all things considered we expect two races tomorrow which, in my opinion, will be very demanding for everyone."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Melandri, Qatar WSBK 2014
Aprilia garage, Malaysian WSBK 2016
Savadori`s Aprilia, Australian WSBK 2016. Photo: WorldSBK
De Angelis` Aprilia, Australian WSBK 2016. Photo: WorldSBK
Team Aprilia, Qatar WSBK 2015
Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing boss, Misano WSBK 2015
Max Biaggi (ITA), Aprilia, World Superbike [Credit: Aprilia]
Team Aprilia, Aragon WSBK 2015
Aprilia wheel change, Aragon WSBK 2015
Aprilia wheel change, Aragon WSBK 2015
Aprilia wheel change, Aragon WSBK 2015
Leon Haslam (GBR), Red Devils Roma Aprilia Racing, WSBK [Credit: Aprilia]
Aprilia, WSBK Test Jerez 26-27th Jan 2015
Aprilia, WSBK Test Jerez 26-27th Jan 2015
Torres and Haslam`s Aprilias, Australian WSBK 2015
Torres` Aprilia, Australian WSBK 2015
Haslam`s Aprilia, Australian WSBK 2015
Haslam, Aprilia garage, WSBK Test Jerez 26-27th Jan 2015

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November 02, 2014 1:23 PM

Marco doesn't have the pace but Guintoli does? Perhaps Aprilia has de-tuned Marco's bike a bit to stop him repeating the Magny-Cours race 2 scenario. Kawasaki can trust Baz to follow team orders but Aprilia don't trust Melandri to do the same. Keep him out of the way then.


November 02, 2014 1:52 PM

Marco had problems most of the year with the Aprilia but his last half effort has been stellar if only "a day late and a dollar short." What is curious is that he has the most experience at this track, he has the bike that is probably most suited for this track but suddenly cannot get the set up right? Granted, he has never ridden this bike here before but we all know he adapts just dang fine...this being his third manufacturer ride in the series (albeit a little slower adapting to the Aprilia). Usually once he gets going he really goes like the last races have shown. I really hate conspiracies but it is odd that this happens right after his defiance of team orders! Is it possible Aprilia believes he is all for himself and would rather push him out than risk him doing a repeat of Magny Cours? I think that would be stupid because Melandri could well play a big role at the front particularly if Sykes starts to run away from the pack!!

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