It was a home World Superbike Championship event to forget for Marco Melandri after the Italian endured an anonymous fifth round of 2019 at Imola.

Having started the season brightly in his first races with the GRT Yamaha team following a podium at the Phillip Island opener, Melandri has managed just a single top ten finish – achieved in race one at Imola – in the last seven races.

Coming at a time when the sister Crescent-run Pata Yamaha team has notched up multiple podiums and top five finishes, Melandri – who could only manage 17thin the Superpole race – was at a loss to explain why he cannot get comfortable on the R1.

“[Race one] was one more very difficult race,” he said despite finishing sixth, albeit 30secs off the lead. “We made some changes to the bike for the race and that brought a small step forward, but it's still not enough. I feel like I still can't use the strongest points of my riding to my advantage at the moment, because I don't have the best feeling with the bike."

“I was really disappointed with the Superpole race. We thought it was going to be wet, so we went with different settings in the bike, but when it turned out to be dry we didn’t have time to switch back to a dry set-up.

“Also, we had some other issues because of the confusion and, in the opening laps, I thought there was a problem with the bike and I wasn’t pushing. When I started to push a bit more, I started to struggle a lot, much worse than in race one. It's not easy, but we continue to work to get better.”



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