Not only was BMW Motorrad Goldbet SBK team rider Marco Melandri, racing at his home circuit this weekend, but his home round also marked the real start of his championship bid.
Having had bad luck at the beginning of the season and suffering from a shoulder injury which required surgery, the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship was where Marco’s fighting spirit really came out to play. Marco celebrated a double podium at the historic track, taking a win in race one and a 2nd in race two.
Despite having technical problems during Superpole, he kept his cool, showed his maturity and experience, and didn’t let anything phase him. On race day, Marco was cool, calm and collected, and battled with his rivals, making two very entertaining races for all those watching. Kawasaki rider Sykes and Laverty and Guintoli on the Aprilias put up a great battle against Melandri but it was the BMW man who was first over the finish line in race one, just 0.085 seconds in front of Sykes, to claim the win.
“It was an unbelievable race, I knew that our race pace was good but I knew it would be a very tough race with four riders in front. I thought it was impossible to pass Laverty on the last corner but luckily I did and no-one came back.”
In race two Marco again worked his magic aboard the S 1000 RR and crossed the finish line in 2nd place. Not only is this weekend important for Marco’s Championship challenge, but also for his fans, many of whom came to the “Autodromo Nazionale Monza” to see their hero:
“To win my first race at Monza is unbelievable. I would like to say thanks to the people here today for their support, it was great to see the grandstand full with so many people and so much support.”
Not only has Marco added these 1st and 2nd place victory prizes to his trophy cabinet, he also took the best lap of the race with a 1.42.379. With these results, Marco is now fourth in the championship with 96 points after gaining 25 points in race one and 20 points in race two.
The next race will take place in two weeks time at Donington Park and will be the first of two British rounds. Let’s hope Chaz Davies feels the benefit of the home crowd and returns to the front of the pack where he belongs.