Italian pleases home fans with return to the rostrum at Misano
After a disappointing Saturday at the Riviera di Rimini Round, Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) found his form just in time for Race Two, taking his sixth podium finish of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season. The Italian crossed the line less than half a second behind race winner Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), and finished above his teammate for only the fifth time this year.
It had been a rough weekend so far for the Italian. Following the rained out FP3, Melandri encountered technical problems in FP4 and entered the first race of the Riviera di Rimini Round still unfamiliar with the new front compound Pirelli had brought for Round Nine. With the information gathered there, Melandri was then able to battle with the best again on Sunday.
“We had a lot of back luck Friday and Saturday morning”, says the Italian. “Today I got a good feeling again so I was riding more confidently and aggressively”.
Melandri held thrilling battles with several riders on Sunday, only losing out a head-to-head to Rea. The Ducati rider caught on to the Northern Irish rider again in the closing laps, but it was too late for Melandri to think about making a move on the top two: “We lost a bit too much time with van der Mark, it took a lot of stress and effort to come back in the end. I was trying to pass van der Mark, but I think I was pushing the front tyre too much. I didn’t want to take too many risks because I almost went down a few times”.
With the championship now going on a two-month hiatus, Melandri is very clear about what his goal is from September onwards: “I want to try to get a win again before the end of the season. It won’t be easy with those guys, but I’ll try my best”.
Catch all of the clashes Melandri had with Rea, Davies or Sykes under the Italian sun thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.