Sitting third in the championship, Melandri reacts to his Yamaha Finance Australian Round weekend
Italian Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) gave himself and his new team something to celebrate at the Yamaha Finance Australian Round, with a podium in Race 1, whilst securing sixth in the Tissot Superpole Race and Race 2. Melandri’s podium marks the first time the Japanese manufacturer has achieved a WorldSBK podium at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit since 2011, with Melandri on his debut WorldSBK weekend.
For most of the weekend, Melandri unexpectedly found himself surrounded by other Yamaha riders. When asked about his proximity to the other Yamahas and why are they so close together, he said: “I don’t know! On Sunday, I expected a bit more because in the Superpole Race I had a few mistakes in the beginning and lost a lot of positions, so I need time to come back, but it was a very short race.
“In Race 2, I had a good start and a good pace at the beginning and once I caught the Kawasaki guys, I just try to wait a bit because for a tyre it is a very difficult race. When Jonny passed Leon for the first time, I tried to push in the middle of the race but the tyre left me behind them and then, I had to slow my pace by a second and a half.”
Melandri then began to speak about his weekend overall at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, especially with his new GRT Yamaha WorldSBK team. He said: “It has been a very good weekend because it has been a very difficult winter, but the races are different, and I am feeling better. I think that the next races can be better and better! We can improve.”
Melandri’s record at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand is a mixed one, having achieved just one podium there in 2017 (third) and finishing a disappointing seventh and eighth in 2018, off the back of a double win at the opening round of the season.
Can Melandri return to the podium fight in Buriram? Find out with the WorldSBK VideoPass!