Marco Melandri has responded to Chaz Davies’ assertion that he was to blame for the accident that eliminated them both from the second World Superbike Championship race at Jerez, saying his rival didn’t leave him enough space.

The pair were disputing fourth place during the final race of the weekend when Melandri’s ambitious attempt to pass up the inside of the long turn five right-hander instead led to a heavy side-on impact with Davies, bringing them both down.

The FIM Stewards Panel would later sanction Melandri for ‘causing the crash of another rider’, handing him a six-place grid drop for the next WorldSBK round at Misano, albeit only in the shorter Superpole Race.

With Davies – whom he partnered at Aruba.it Ducati for the past two seasons - labelling the incident as a ‘d**khead move’ by Melandri, the GRT Yamaha rider pointed the finger of blame at the Welshman instead.  

“It’s unfortunate that Chaz didn’t leave me the same amount of space I left him when the positions were reversed on the previous lap, but for me it was a racing incident and nothing more,” he said.

“It was a shame to finish the weekend with a crash, but when you think about where we were just two weeks ago and then how we were able to fight for the podium in all three races here in Jerez, it’s something so positive for us.”

Indeed, the incident represented a sour end to a strong weekend for Melandri as a whole after being classified third in race one and the Superpole Race. He rises to sixth in the overall standings and holds onto his lead in the Independent Riders’ reckoning, seven points ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu.

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